Prices, localisation and food security


The price of bread has increased once again and people are worried at the continuity of that trend. It’s frightening that you should wake up any day and find the price for basic commodities have been hiked.  The pricing of those basic needs without warning, should alarm all authorities as to the necessity of putting in proper mechanism to ensure it doesn’t become a burden on the masses.


Looking at it from a bigger perspective, we should be asking questions as to what policies have been put in place to combat food insecurity. The Gambia as a developing country, with a high level of poverty, should strive harder to produce productive citizens and it’s only logical that you’ll never have productivity in the citizenry, when you have hunger highly prevalent. So we must not misplace our priorities, by turning a blind eye on the need to boost food security and abundance.



The call to localise production and supporting home-based agriculture should also be a foremost priority. The importation is not sustainable and in the long run we will be forced by necessity to cut down thereby affecting the entire country. With the proper means to develop our own local economy by investing and supporting our farmers, we can transcend all these hurdles and move towards national development at a faster pace. However to develop our agricultural sector into a meaningful and productive stronghold, we need to educate and raise awareness on its imperative necessity. Because without the proper education of the people, it will only become another exercise that would eventually collapse. So education and awareness is key. 


The Gambia’s population is increasing and the needs and wants of the people are accelerating. The other nations that export food and other needs are also experiencing a rapid increase in population growth, so in other to meet the needs of their rapidly growing populace, they must needs be, cut down their exportation. Faced with such impending crisis, the bell is ringing clearly to wake the nation up and brace towards increment in investing in our own local industries. Globalisation has become a nightmare that only benefits the needs of the wealthy few and improvises the dispossessed majority of the earth and the Gambia is no exception to this. So if the Gambia and by extension the entire third world, have to be liberated from economic imperialism and the so called foreign aid, then we must revisit and revitalize our own home based industries. 


We have the capacity to feed ourselves and we have the means to even export to neighboring countries. What is needed is the investment and dedication. To mentally liberate ourselves from the notion that the best always comes from outside.  This is the call of our times, to ensure that the generations that are coming up, will grow in a society that is healthy and self sufficient. The price increment of bread is a pointer and an alarm that we should all heed. Its not the duty of the government alone but every citizen of the land. We have been summoned to take up this historical responsibility and to shy away is to betray the generation yet unborn.


Since he came to power, President Jammeh has been trying to make this country self-sufficient in food and has come up with all kinds of programmes and policies. Writers and thinkers like Suruwa Wawa Jaiteh of Bakau have been writing in these columns month in, month out on what we need to do to become self sufficient  in food. But how close are we to attaining this all-important goal?