Cuts to agriculture concerns lawmakers

Cuts to agriculture concerns lawmakers

Proposed budget cuts will see money slashed from the country’s department of agriculture, an issue that concerned lawmakers.

President Adama Barrow has made deep cuts to the Gambia’s revised budget, saving the country at least D1 billion dalasis ($25 million dollars).

It appears the cuts will take a bite out of farm support and put a cap on subsidies and spending.

Lawmakers approved the revised budget on Thursday but express worries about food security and hunger.

Gambia’s Finance Minister said the cuts will not affect farmers and reiterated the government’s commitment to making farming in the Gambia profitable.

The majority of Gambian households do not earn more than D20,500 dalasis ($512 dollars) annually and monthly household expenditure is approximately D10,643 dalasis ($266 dollars).

Average household expenditure on food accounts for approximately 52 percent of the total expenditure.

Gambian households largely rely on the purchase of food for consumption, have family members who work away from home for more than six months during the year and depend on informal credit sources (neighbors, relatives, traders) when borrowing money.

Rising food prices and natural disasters are the most prominent factors that have negatively impacted Gambian households’ food access and put them at risk of becoming food insecure in recent years.

At least 900 people are needing urgent food aid in northern and southwestern Gambia where heavy rains and windstorms displaced more than 100 families.

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