#Editorial

Fertiliser boosts crop production!

Jun 16, 2022, 11:08 AM

Fertiliser is an important ingredient in ensuring healthy soil, thus boosting crop production. Increasing crop yields is essential and key if any nation is ready to produce enough food for everyone.

In the recent past, managing agricultural nutrients to provide a safe food supply and secure the environment remains one of the immense challenges of the 21st century. Crop nutrient uptake and crop yields are the principal factors that determine optimal fertilisation practices. Therefore, it is very important to apply fertiliser in an efficient way to minimise loss and to improve nutrient use efficiency.

 

Farmers in The Gambia like some developing countries over use lands for cultivation that makes it necessary and important to constantly apply fertiliser to improve soil nutrients.

However, the best fertiliser to boost soil nutrient content are organic fertilisers such as animal waste and compost, which have been used for centuries and are a valuable source of nutrients. And they are environmentally friendly too.

But in the absence of organic fertiliser, mineral fertiliser, which mostly comes in a convenient solid granular form, also makes and boosts soil nutrient content.

Following general outcry over the cost of fertiliser in the country, President Adama Barrow has announced that the government would now subsidise the official price, bringing it down to D2000. Earlier on, the official price for a bag of fertiliser was pegged at D25,000. Fertiliser is an important ingredient that should be readily available to farmers and on time.

 

The government should note that farmers' plight deserves urgent action. Any delay in the cropping season has a dire consequence on the country's development and food security.

No development is attainable in the absence of well-functioning agriculture. Growing food in soil with a good balance of nutrients is therefore key to preventing malnourishment. It also prevents illnesses related to deficiencies in populations. The government should invest more in agriculture like other sectors to enable the country to consume the food it produces.

Foreign importation of rice or other agric commodities is not helping the country economically.

The Gambia is blessed with arable land that could have been put into good use. The plight of farmers is key in any decision making process.

The government should support and encourage farmers by addressing their needs.

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