Agriculture is the biggest economic contributor of growth in The Gambia, accounting for approximately one quarter of the country’s GDP. The sector employs about 70 percent or more of the labor force. Agriculture is mainly practiced in The Gambia for subsistence. However, the sector’s development has been consistently dwindling over the years – resulting in poor yields in major crops such as rice, groundnut and millet.
In this exclusive interview, The Chronicle engages Prof. Sidat Yaffa of the University of The Gambia, an expert in agriculture and climate change, to discuss the factors responsible for the problem of agricultural growth in the country.
He believes that the failures are due to various reasons including non-prioritization of agricultural development issues by government, weak policies, and climate change.
Prof. Yaffa also conceded that project directors who have been administering multi-million-dollar projects for the advancement of improving productivity are not fair to farmers, in whose names the projects are given.
Slowly but surely, individuals at the heart of things are beginning to surface.