#Article (Archive)

Sidia Jatta Puts Rising Food Crisis, EPAs in Context

Jun 20, 2008, 2:34 AM | Article By: By Baboucarr Senghore & Abba Gibba

Contributing to the Motion for the adoption of the report of the 2008 1st Ordinary Session of the ECOWAS parliament, Hon Sidia Jatta, National Assembly Member for Wuli West constituency, expressed profound alarm at the present food crisis. For Hon. Jatta, this is a threat because Gambian lands are so cheap that people from outside tend to come from anywhere and buy land while nothing is being done about the situation. "That is what has been seen happening and that is what is taking place in this country. People have started buying land all over, most especially along the coast. So in the final analysis, we are left with nothing but lands that are infertile," Hon. Jatta observed.

"What frightens me about the food crisis is that it started covertly but now it is going to come open. Those countries who are aware of this very problem have started buying land in continents like Africa to cultivate and produce food in preparation for this prolonged crisis that has just started," he noted.

Hon. Jatta went on to express the view that these are issues that the National Assembly has to sit down and address so as to come up with appropriate documents to be able to address the issue in a way that will put an end to the situation.

"We cannot just talk about them and stop there because this is going to be very serious and, with all that, they are telling us not to subsidise our agriculture when they are subsidising their agriculture to enable their farmers to compete," he stated.

Commenting on the issue of the much talked about Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs) between Africa and Europe, Hon. Jatta expressed his belief that the EPAs are non-starters for Africa. He said: "They serve absolutely no purpose for this continent. The EPAs are not going to take us anywhere but rather they are going to ditch us all the more into the problems that we are facing economically. For me, the EPA holds nothing good for Africa," Hon Jatta contended.