The shortage of rains in the early end of this year’s rainfall has affected rice and groundnuts in various parts of the country, agriculture officials have briefed President Adama Barrow.
The press officer for the presidency, Amie Bojang, has told journalists at the State House in Fajara that despite the shortfalls they are yet to know if this could warrant some emergency food support to farmers.
“Right now the president has been briefed that in some parts of the country like in the Lower River Region rice and groundnuts are affected. Millet is good because they are more resistant,” she said.
“Right now the minister of agriculture is doing a monitoring to confirm the exact situation in the regions. And at the end of the day, there will be a technical advice to President Barrow for an effective course of action.”
Experts said the country, prone to climate change, has had good rains this year but unevenly spread within the four months period, thus causing draught at the end of the season.
The Gambia has 558,000 hectares of very good quality arable land, of which only 200,000 hectares are currently under rain-fed agricultural production.
The country has great potential for irrigated agriculture, with fresh water from the River Gambia, rain water if harvested, and fossil water that can be drilled.