‘French US$50m grant is not yet in’

Jun 18, 2020, 11:55 AM | Article By:  Ismaila Sonko

Amie Fabureh, the minister for Agriculture has declared that the US$50 million grant from the government of France for rice production is not yet in the country.

The agric minister made these remarks while responding to the questions from the lawmakers at the National Assembly on Wednesday.

She added that the French authorities promised to give €10 million for a starter but because of the covid-19 pandemic, they reduced the amount to €7 million.

She also informed lawmakers that 27 mixed farming centres will be rehabilitated in the various mixed farming centres in The Gambia to encourage farmers in their agricultural activities. Already, she stated, six mixed farming centres have been completed in some parts of the country.

According to her, the government through the Agriculture Ministry has ordered 50 tractors that would be given to the farmers in the various farming communities across the country to promote farm mechanisation.

"The Ministry of Agriculture has distributed rice milling machines and early millet (coose) milling machines among farmers across the country," she said.

She said the government of The Gambia has a D1000 subsidy for fertiliser so that farmers can get a bag of fertiliser at an affordable price of D700, saying the actual price for fertiliser is D1700.

She added that her ministry has put an emergency plan to help the farmers across the country in the event of food shortage in the coming months.

She finally called on the lawmakers to join the Ministry of Agriculture to encourage the private sectors to take part in rice production so that the Gambia can be self-sufficient in rice production.