Understandably, The Gambia has no control over disruptions in the global supply chain, impacting on commodity prices, energy, etc. However, we do have control over domestic food production, with the potential to curb food inflation. The Gambia has sufficient arable land and the River Gambia to achieve sufficiency in food production.
Among others, we need three things:
1. Political will
2. Policy adaptation/implementation
3. Strategic investment
These are within our control. It would be unconscionable and a massive dereliction of duty for us to continue to fail in areas purely under our control, such as domestic food production. This is a factor not influenced by external forces. If we want to be taken seriously by our citizens and our development partners, we should stop the lip service and render agribusiness a reality. We MUST transform agriculture.
J.P Morgan forecast continuing price escalation in brent crude, meaning high energy cost to be reflected in increased transport fares and general price hikes, will be with us for the unforeseeable future. Well, if we can’t influence that, we can atleast do something about feeding ourselves. Therefore, a way to mitigate the hardship is to invest heavily in agriculture/horticulture, value addition and tackling internal supply chain complexities. This one element is under our control, and it is doable, starting from this year, if we are a serious Nation.