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Agricultural cooperatives should be revived: Agric Minister

May 29, 2017, 10:27 AM | Article By: Abdoulie Nyockeh

The Minister of Agriculture has said that the agricultural sector needs to be reformed to bring back the cooperative societies which had helped the tremendous development of the sector in the 1960’s.

Minister Omar Jallow said the revival of the cooperative societies would boost the groundnut sector and bring back cotton farming like the early days when the North Bank Region used to be the commercial centre for agriculture.

He made his remarks while visiting various agricultural project sites in North Bank and other regions as part of his nationwide tour, facilitated by the Central Project Coordination Unit of the Department of Agriculture.

On the first day of the tour, the minister and delegation visited Wassu livestock regional centre, funded by Department of Livestock; Madina Lamin Kanteh women’s vegetable garden, funded by FAO through the MDG 1c project, and the Kerewan market, funded NEMA project.

The agriculture minister said in addition to reforming the sector to bring back cooperative societies, the agriculture sector also needs to be commercialised to introduce and encourage year round production.

“Farmers should operate like ordinary businessmen,” he said.

The NEMA project coordinator, Momodou Gassama, said the project is designed to improve the livelihoods of rural farmers through economic empowerment.

Aziz Sowe, manager of Njau village Mix Farming Centre in Central River Region, said at the village level, more than 300 women are involved in maize and onion production.