Farmers Need Help

Monday, October 19, 2009

Farmers across the country are clamouring for support to help them increase agricultural productivity in our quest to attain food self-sufficiency.

Most farmers are certainly facing challenges in isolation and arduous work, thus hampering their productivity.

Recently, women, who spoke in various meetings with Hunger-free campaigners in Bwiam, Soma, Farafenni and Brikamaba in Western, LRR, NBD and Central River Regions, respectively, complained of the lack of farming implements and fertiliser, as a cause of low farm yields, and the result being they can grow little food.

A good number of women were unanimous in their words regarding the major constraints facing them as farmers. The issue of untimely availability of fertilisers was also prominent in the speeches of various speakers.

All the necessary support should be given to them, such as provision of tractors and implements that are associated with mechanisation and large-scale production, if we are to attain our dream of food self-sufficiency.

Supplying the home-market and the growers’ needs are two indispensable things. For farmers to grow more food items, they need to be provided with adequate tools and resources to help increase agricultural productivity.

For real, if we are to make any headway, more farming inputs, market outlets and storage facilities should be available to the farming community.

Agriculture, we all know, is the only sector that can improve household food security and reduce poverty in this country.

Records revealed that 35% of the rural households fall below the food poverty line, as compared to 5% in urban areas and just 4% of those in the Greater Banjul Area.

We are also of the opinion that if women are empowered, they can significantly reduce both hunger and poverty in the country.