Jun 19, 2012, 3:06 PM
The Ministry of Youth and Sports has donated 35.5 tonnes of farm produce to the National Disaster Management Agency to help combat the effects of this season’s crop failure.
The donation was made through the National Youth Council (NYC) and the Ministry of Agriculture at a ceremony at the Independence Stadium on Bakau on Thursday.
Speaking at the ceremony, the Minister of Youth and Sports, Alieu K. Jammeh, said the donation will assist farmers in preparing for the coming farming season. He commended the NYC and all those who responded to this initiative.
In March, the Ministry of Agriculture formally declared the 2011-2012 farming season to be a failure. Below normal and poorly distributed rainfall was blamed for a 70% reduction in total crop yield.
Appeals have been launched by the UNDP and international agencies such as ActionAid, which has said that 50,000 people in rural Gambia are in urgent need of food and drinking water.
The Gambia is not alone. There are an estimated 10 million people suffering from the effects of growing food shortages in Burkina Faso, Chad, Gambia, Mali, Mauritania and Niger. All of these countries have declared emergencies and appealed for international assistance.