Gambia: Poor rains leave thousands food insecure

Over 23,000 people in Gambia are in need of immediate food assistance, while some 271,500 are on the brink of food insecurity as a result of poor rains this year, Gambia's agriculture minister told Anadolu.

The reduction is attributed to amongst other reasons to the long dry spell observed in September through November. This has adversely affected major crops grown in the country, said Omar Jallow.

Gambia, highly vulnerable to climate change, has seen an uneven and inefficient distribution of rainfall in 2017 which officials said has hugely impacted the harvest season.

An Agriculture Ministry task force has already presented its findings on the season to the minister and other partners, Jallow said.

The task force report seen by Anadolu Agency shows that the total production for the 2017 harvest season is estimated to drop by 26 percent compared to 2016 season, from about 285,000 metric tons to 185,000.

The report projected that over 41,000 people are expected to face food insecurity, while a staggering 354,000 will also face a potential food crisis situation in 2018 due to the 2017 season.

The task force behind the report has advised the government to engage partners on resource mobilization to support those in crisis. Gambia last declared an emergency food crisis in 2011 after another poor rainy season.

Source: Anadolu Agency