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Wuli East lawmaker calls for increment in Agriculture allocation

Dec 17, 2019, 1:53 PM | Article By: Ismaila Sonko

National Assembly Member (NAM) for Wuli East, Suwaibou Touray, has stated that the 488, 263,415 million dalasis allocation for the development of the agriculture in this country needs increment in order to meet the demands of the farmers for the betterment of the country.

Honourable Touray, made this interventions during the debate on Appropriation Bill for 2020 at the Assembly on Tuesday. He argued that Agriculture should have been the government’s first priority when it comes to the budgeting.

 Billay G. Tunkara, the Kantora lawmaker, said that government should develop an irrigation system rather than depending on the rainy season for agriculture.

“If you look at The Gambia, the country is blessed with fresh water so if the government utilizes that fresh water we can feed ourselves as a nation without depending on the exported rice,” he said.

Hon. Tunkara added that if the government puts more efforts in the development of agriculture, unemployment rate will reduce in the country because the sector can serve as a source of income and self employment for those who venture into it.

Hon. Sulayman Saho, legislator for Central Badibou said the Ministry of Agriculture should centralise rice production across the country for food self-sufficiency. However, he argued this can’t be achieved without the financial support from the government.

The legislator for Serrekunda, Hon. Halifa Sallah, said National Agriculture Sector Strategy (NASS) estimates that areas under cultivation for the six major cereals have been steadily on decline from 206,300 hectares in 2018 to 170,130 hectares in 2019. He observed that a similar trend is also being observed for groundnut which is also expected to decline from 79,920 hectares in 2018 to 54,348 hectares in 2019, saying there is no policy that is addressing this problem.