5 December 2012

Gambia: Activista Hands Over Women Farmers' Demands Card to NAMs Agric Committee

Activista The Gambia, a youth arm of ActionAid The Gambia that advocates for the ending of hunger and poverty in The Gambia, Thursday handed over women farmers' demands card to the National Assembly Members Select Committee on Agriculture at premises of the Banjul City Council. The women farmers' demands were collected and collated by Activista during a nationwide campaign on "hunger free Gambia" a month ago.

The Women farmers' demand card that was handed over to the National Assembly Members Select Committee on Agriculture contained the lamentation of the women as regards to lack of land control, ownership, inadequate farm implements and high cost of farm inputs, among others.

Receiving the women farmers' demand card on behalf of the National Assembly Members Select Committee on Agriculture, the vice chairman of the Committee, Hon. Bafaye Saidykhan, said the points raised are pertinent issues which need to be looked into in order to boost agriculture in the country.

He said land issues are dealt with under the customary laws; it is contained and protected by the 1997 constitution and properly addressed the issue. He added that there is a need to dialogue with the local authorities and also for women to have control and ownership of land since they are producers of the food that they eat.

Regarding the cost of farm inputs, Hon. Saidykhan affirmed that there is need to reduce the cost of farm inputs particularly fertiliser which is very expensive.

For her part, Aji Fulo, a farmer from Upper River Region,said that they are farmers and they make their living from farm produce. She lamented that land is always their problem.

On behalf of women farmers, she appealed to the authorities, especially local authorities, to help them with land to farm so that they can end hunger.Fulo added that government cannot do it alone, and therefore called on NGOs like Activista to invest in the agricultural sector.

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