Abdoulai G. Dibba
Farmers in Central River Region North and South informed the Minister of Agriculture about the rampant of the hippopotamus in the region which threatening lives and food security.
The farmers made this revelation to the Agriculture Minister in his recent six days nationwide tour in his meeting in Kaur and Kudan.
They indicated that the hippos are not only affecting their rice fields by using them as their grazing place but also threaten their lives by attacking them at those very rice field.
“We want the ministry of agriculture and relevant authorities to help us in arresting the menace as the Hippos should not be allowed to destroy our rice fields which is frustrating our drive for food security in the name of wildlife conservation” they stated.
Mr. Lamin Ceesay speaking in the Kudan meeting, called on the ministry of agriculture and the authorities responsible for the conservation of wildlife to come up with a strategy plan to curb intrusion of wild animals in their rice fields which makes them to abandon their rice fields.
“The hippos are not only destroying our rice fields but also attacking people, and the authorities do not allow us to kill them” Ceesay stated.
He concluded by calling on the authorities to come up with a solution to address the problem as soon as possible for the lives of human is more important than the lives of the hippos.
The Alkali of Kaur wharf town Mustapha Njie informed the Minister of Agriculture that the invasion of their rice fields by hippos have negative impact on rice production as most of the rice fields cultivated in the past by the rice farmers are now abandoned because of the hippos’ intrusion which make their hard work useless as they end up harvesting nothing.
In responding to the concerns raised by the farmers, the minister of Agriculture Omar Amadou Jallow assured the farmers of his ministry’s readiness to ensuring that the issue of wild animal’s intrusion into the rice fields will become a thing of the past.
“Am going to sit with president Barrow and the minister of environment in order to come out with tangible solution to the problem”.