Gambia’s Minister of Agriculture Omar Jallow says the government got funding from Islamic Development Bank (IDB) for the rehabilitation of the groundnut processing plants located near Banjul and Kaur in the interior of the country.This will facilitate the processing of groundnuts and cashew nuts to produce cooking oil for local consumption and export, and generate hard currency for the country.
Gambian farmers presently benefit less from their produce, and local processing to sell the finished products at higher prices will enable them to receive more income, Jallow added.
Responding to questions from deputies during the current session of the National Assembly in Banjul on Thursday, the minister also announced that the government has plans to promote mechanized farming systems.
It intends to purchase tractors and other farm implements and inputs made available to the entire farming community in the country, to enable farmers venture into year-round farming, he continued.
Meanwhile, the government has reduced the cost of fertilizer from D950 to D700 ($21 to $15) for this year’s rainy season, as part of the plans to support agricultural development and increase productivity of farms, especially the production of groundnuts which is the main cash crop of The Gambia.
Minister Jallow also informed the National Assembly that his Ministry is currently implementing a project, meant to provide water for cattle and other livestock in the rural areas, as well as for irrigation farming.
Some 23 solar powered boreholes and four water harvesting ponds have been built at various strategic locations across the country, depending on the number of animals present in each area, he said.