Abdoulai G. Dibba
The sudden dry spell that has hit the farming community and the rest of the country, continues to persist in Niani and Sami Districts of the Central River Region North of the Gambia. This started during the first two weeks of September when farmers complained of lack of rain but the situation has persisted and no significant rain took place up to the 21st of September 2017.
Farmers told this reporter on Wednesday and Thursday that the rain ceased to fall in their districts since the beginning of the month of September and if the trend continues for some couple of days, there will certainly be crop failure on early millet, rice and groundnuts, as was the case last year or even worse.
According to Modou Ndow of Ndowen Village in the Niani District, the cropping season was promising from start of the rains as regular rainfall was registered in the district. He however noted that the situation changed from September 1st to date and there has been no significant rainfall in the area at a time when the coos crop needed water the most.
“If there is no rain up to the end of this month, then our drive and efforts for food self- sufficiency will be totally frustrated,” said Modou Ndow.
Biran Ndow of Mbyen Village informed this medium on Wednesday that after being victims of the Kuntuar floods, they are now witnessing a dry spell which is threatening them in their move to escape food shortage next month. Biran stated that if the situation continues as it is, there will certainly be failure in the maturing of the crops, which will ultimately lead to crop failure.
“We are in serious need of rain because our coos and groundnuts crops need water to mature properly at this crucial moment,” Biran said.
Other farmers in Sami expressed similar views.