The revelation by the Secretary General of PDOIS in his press statement that The Gambia is importing more than 2 billion dalasis worth of rice annually should be an eye opener to those who underestimate agriculture in promoting income generation and addressing poverty. Importing 2.4 billion dalasis worth of rice in 2018 confirms how much money could be ploughed into the local economy if rice production was increased to the level of meeting the quantity imported.
It was indicated in the statement which is the focus of this paper that we could have put 2.4 billion in the hands of our farmers if we developed ways and means of producing what we are importing. The Gambian people should therefore be convinced that The Gambia is not poor. The people are being impoverished because of 54 years of implementing wrong agricultural policies.
The debate should continue on how to right the wrong. The PDOIS Secretary General proposes the creation of a cooperative bank financed by public wealth to provide seeds, fertiliser and farm implements to family farms for family income and village farms for village income to promote both individual development for families and social development for villages.
What are the government and the other parties offering to address 54 years of wrong agricultural and rural development policies? Foroyaa will publish precise and concise views when expressed.