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March 19, 2012

Poor 2011 rains result in disastrous Gambia food harvests

The poor 2011 experienced in much of the Sahel region of West African extended further down south to fertile and normally wet country of Gambia.

The country's ministry of agriculture has declared the 2011/12 farming season a 'failure,' resulting a reduction in harvests of as much as 70% over the previous season.

National food security will be seriously compromised for all key crops. Rice, groundnuts, millets, maize, sorghum and others may be only enough to cover families for an average of two months, versus the usual 4-6 months of better years. An emergency call has gone out for international assistance.

The government has also sought to make preparations for the inputs needs of future farming seasons. Seeds of various types are said to be in the annual requirement of 25, 000 tonnes, while 40, 000 of fertilizer is required.

The Daily Observer

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