Friday, March 24

Audit Report Reveals 72% of Gambians are Poor Farmers

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The National Audit Office report has revealed that 72% are poor and work in the agricultural sector of the Gambia, while 80% of the population depends on agriculture for their livelihood which constitutes about 38.73% of the total population.

However, the agricultural sector is said to have employed 75% of the population and contributes 25% of the country`s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

The report also revealed  that the Gambia has a total land area of about 1.04 Million hectares part of which 558,000 hectares (representing 54%) are arable, out of which 320,000 hectares are cultivated, while 96,000 hectares (about 30%) of the cultivated area is devoted for groundnut production. Most farmers are stakeholders cultivating on average 1.2 to 2 hectares per farm.

The report further stated that, in 2017, the National Seed Secretariat was established to strengthen the quantity and quality of certified seed production in the country and to ensure that certified seeds are accessible and affordable to groundnut farmers.

The report further revealed that the National Seed Plan and Policy were established in 2018 by the Ministry of Agriculture in collaboration with the National Seed secretariat and Food and Agricultural Organization noting that despite these interventions` inadequacy remains in certified seed production.

However, the report disclosed the decline in groundnut production from 2016 to 2019 which shows that, in 2016, the Gambia produced 71, 082.00 metric tons, while in 2017 the groundnut production had declined to 57, 625.00 metric tons of groundnut, and in 2018 Gambia lost half of the tons it produce in groundnut with the decline of 22,170.11 metric tons of groundnut produced and in 2019 the Gambia produced 19, 97.40 metric tons of Groundnut.