Abdoulai G. Dibba
Farmers in the North Bank, Central River, Upper River and Lower River Regions have demanded that the Government speed up with the provision of seeds and fertilizer to the farming communities as the rains are fast approaching.
The farmers made these assertions during the tour of the Minister of Agriculture from 23 to 26 of May 2017 during which he visited on-going project sites under his Ministry.
The farmers who spoke at Kerewan, Njau, Wassu, Basse, Pancharr, Boiram, Mamudfana, Felongkoto to name but a few, asked the Minister to help them with seeds and fertilizer as the rains are fast approaching.
According to them, without the help of the Government they will not be able to cultivate their farms particularly groundnuts as there is no grain of groundnut seed with them.
The farmers asserted that they used to plant seeds saved from their own harvests but due to the erratic rains last year, their groundnuts kernels did not mature properly and therefore cannot serve as seeds due to its poor quality.
Responding to the request of the farmers, the Agriculture Minister Mr Omar A. Jallow assured them that the Government is doing all it could to make sure that seeds and fertilizer are made available to the farming communities before the rains start.
Minister Jallow informed the farmers that the parents of the president are farmers and as a result, his heart beats in unison with the heartbeat of the farmers.
He said his ministry will engage the government with regard to the price of fertilizer to make it affordable to the farming communities because access alone is not enough.
The Agric Minister stated that one of the reasons for the low application of fertilizer is the high cost and therefore he said, they are looking at the possibility of reducing the price from D750 to make it affordable to farmers.
See Farmers’ Eye for a detailed report of the Minister’s tour.