Dec 1, 2011, 3:15 PM
There is no gainsaying the fact that markets and marketing are essential in all economic activities. In retrospect however, it is disappointing to recall that there were times when farmers' produce was left unsold after a season of toil and drudgery, as there is no market for them in the country. This situation accentuates the fact that unless serious attention is given to agriculture and farmers are adequately empowered, poverty reduction cannot be achieved in the country.
On the other hand, the crusade that is currently ongoing to encourage and promote greater participation of Gambians in farming in order to attain food self-sufficiency can best yield the expected results and dividends if producers adopt efficient marketing strategies.
It is true that going back to the land crusade embarked upon by President Jammeh offers a lot of hope for a better life.
Government's priority should be the farmers because theirs is not only another vocation but also the backbone of the country's economy. The marketing of their produce would constitute a right measure to achieve reduction in poverty.
The rainy season has set in, as usual, with lot of expectations from farmers and from the government. As we get into the rainy season, it is fair to think that because the importance of the past is to learn from it. The nation should set out more effective plans to achieve more for The Gambia in the coming year.
The government should be encouraged to work closely with other organisations such as The Gambia Chambers of Commerce and Industry (GCCI) to seek to improve the noble agenda for the ultimate good of our country.
In fact, that is the reason we agreed with the Finance Secy when he told parliament last year that due to "inactive weather, mass degradation and inefficient market storage, agriculture is decreasing in The Gambia.
"No nation was ever ruined by trade."