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Agriculture to decline by 15%, says Finance Minister

Dec 22, 2014, 10:04 AM

Delayed and erratic rains this year would cause an expected dent of 15 per cent in agricultural produce, declared Finance Minister Kebba Satou Touray, while delivering the country’s national budget speech at the National Assembly on Friday.

“Another external shock facing the economy is the effect of climate change, leading to delayed and erratic rainfall pattern in some parts of the country.

This phenomenon has affected agricultural output and, according to latest assessments, a decline of 15 per cent is expected compared to last year,” Minister Touray said.

He added that the government would do everything in its power to ensure that “the affected few are adequately supported and moving forward”, government policy in agriculture would focus on investment in irrigation infrastructure and mechanization of the whole value chain.

The 2015 budget is anchored on limiting Net Domestic Borrowing to 1% of GDP at 31st December 2015, the finance minister indicated.

“This policy objective will generate savings, create buffers, and support macroeconomic stability and growth,” he added.

Minister Touray called on development partners including the private sector to support the country’s economic development agenda.

“Government on its part will provide the necessary leadership to reach our desired goal,” he said.

Hon. Touray added that the government’s programmes in 2015 would focus on attainment of Vision 2016, whilst at the same time ensuring fiscal discipline to narrow down the deficit and domestic borrowing.