Visiting Senegalese unionist slams US, EU agric polices

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Speaking at a press conference yesterday during a three-day visit to The Gambia, Alioune Ndiaye, the Senegalese trade unionist leader, said the skewed agricultural policies of the West are designed to make Africa continually dependent on them.

The guest of the Gambia Labour Congress said he has visited women farmers in the North Bank Region and Brikama and heard first-hand information on agricultural development in The Gambia and challenges farmers face among others.

He opined that President Jammeh’s Vision 2016 “is a possibility because water and land is available throughout The Gambia and the next part is to modernise the agricultural sector and ensure there are enough tractors and quality seeds. Then The Gambia can farm all-year-round in order to feed her citizens.”

He added: “Our federation has two priorities; one is the sovereignty of the people in agricultural development, and the protection of those that are employed. We are denouncing the capitalist and imperialist world because the capitalists in European countries assist agricultural workers in their countries while imperialist America regards Africa as a dumping ground.  In addition, they do not allow African governments to give subventions to their farmers. When we ask them why, they said African countries do not have money to subvent farmers. It is just a tactic to suppress us. Then FAO was created to alleviate the hunger and suffering, and a lot of money was pumped into the FAO to fight hunger around the world. But instead of taking that money to invest in agricultural development in those countries, they employed a lot of people and pay them huge salaries. They travel first class and stay in five star hotels. 

“That money should have been invested to fight hunger in Africa and other parts of the world. We are completely against the policies of America and the European Union. If you look at their policies, they favour multinationals which will come and buy properties in Africa, grow whatever they want and after they take the best part and ship to Europe, treat it there and then bring it back and sell to us at exorbitant prices. For Africa, it is only Africans that developed Africa not the Europeans or Americans. We should look at the African reality and see what fits us best. As long as we do not stand firm to develop our agriculture sector, we will continue to be dependent on the West. We want a president who will stand firm on agriculture like Yahya Jammeh is doing so that Africa can develop.” 

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