#Editorial

Let’s support horticulture development for self-reliance!

Aug 31, 2021, 10:54 AM

Renowned Jamaican songster –Robert Nesta Marley alias Bob Marley, in one of his famous songs states; emancipate yourselves from mental slavery; none but ourselves can free our minds.

The term emancipation is subjected to many definitions including the right to be in control of the stomach.

Experts over and over again reiterated that for the African countries to develop, countries must prioritize agriculture development.

Until then, Africans will continue to depend on foreign aid and handouts. The horticulture sub-sector is an important pillar of the national economy.

It is sad that most African countries are blessed with abundant arable lands to exploit and  feed their population.

For instance, The Gambia with a population of less than 2 million people still cannot feed its own people.

The country spent a significant amount on importation of basic food items and rice that could have been grown and produced in the country.

With all the policies and efforts, achieving food security in an environmentally sustainable way is one of the greatest challenges facing the continent. Efforts towards accelerating the country’s quest for improving food security, uplifting income status and reducing hardship among rural farmers, is indeed important.

Notwithstanding, policies must be selected and aligned with appropriate technologies to be able to lead to sustainable development of agricultural production. It is no hidden secret how most countries in the twenty-first century face challenges to feed its growing population, reduce poverty, and protect the environment in the face of climate change.

As countries change tactics especially in the way they approach agriculture, it is also time to adapt to this changing trend. For any nation to make considerable inroads as far as agric development is concerned, private sector participation is key. Governments must work with more private businesses to achieve positive results.

To the participants, make good use of the knowledge and skills gained to improve food security and nutritional status in the country.We therefore, salute the Horticulture Technical Services Unit under the Department of Agriculture (DoA) and the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations for the technical cooperation.

"When the flower blooms, the bees come uninvited."

Ramasrkrishna

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