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Sunday, July 21, 2024

GCCI convenes agriculture sector forum

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By Olimatou Coker

The Gambia Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Agriculture and Employers’ Association (GCCI) on Friday convened stakeholders in the agriculture sector including farmer organizations, marketers, government officials to address current challenges and explore solutions, at the GCCI office in Bijilo.

The GCCI is a nonprofit and private sector driven organization that facilitates business development, promotes cross border trade exhibition and advances the business communities interest.

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The purpose of the forum is to bring together key stakeholders from various facets of the agricultural industry to discuss critical issues, share insights, and collaborate on strategies that can enhance the sector’s growth and sustainability. The forum offers a platform for addressing current challenges, exploring innovative solutions, and forging partnerships that can drive positive change.

Sarata Conateh, the Chief Executive Officer, recognized agriculture as an indispensable sector that requires innovation to thrive. “What  is the stumbling block is that we can’t embrace all these new solutions to ensure that efficiency is guaranteed in agricultural sustainability. Growth, which is the most imperative of all, is also guaranteed in agriculture”.

Sulyman Mboge, the Board Director of GCCI responsible for agriculture, said: “ I believe these are the most important sectors of our economy. Everybody in this country needs a farmer minimum one day.”

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Mboge also highlighted  challenges they face, which include inadequate markets, lands for agricultural activities, sault intrusions, farm equipment, storage facilities, animal feeds, farm inputs and financing.

Ebrima Jallow, the President  of the Gambia Livestock Association, thanked the GCCI  for convening the dialogue.

He said as far as livestock is concerned, the biggest challenge is feeding.

“Feeding is affecting both large and small ruminants. And again, it’s also disturbing the poultry sector.”

Saikou Sanyang, the Deputy Permanent Secretary at Ministry Agriculture, said the government through his ministry takes the concerns seriously and said they are going to provide solutions.

“Yes, rice self-sufficiency, if you want to achieve that, we must look at certain things. One is the land development, two is land leveling and three is water management.”

Several speakers expressed similar sentiments and recommended farmers to be well organized to better manage their affairs and have a powerful voice.  

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