Beginning in 2016, rice importation into The Gambia will be banned. The measure is an attempt to become self-reliant and to stabilize local agriculture, according to Capital FM.
“Come 2016, we will ban the importation of rice into this country in order to strengthen local food industries as well as promote food self-sufficiency and good health,” President Yahya Jammeh said in a GRTS broadcast speech.
To the dismay of the poor, as reported by All Africa, earlier this month Gambia also announced a ban on chicken leg imports. Those looking to break their Ramadan fast, or purchase meat that is inexpensive will just have to deal with escalated local market prices in the future.
With chicken legs, rice and all agricultural products — the country’s poor survives and depends on low-cost food imports. Initiatives to help buffer the impoverished or make the shift easier have not yet been outlined.
South East Asia will take a big hit as Gambia imports the majority of their rice from the region. The chicken leg ban came on the brink of a health risk; frozen meats across the country were being stocked and sold past the sell-by date, according to Capital FM.
Jammeh said the rice importation ban will increase local demand as rice is something the country produces in small amounts when compared to importation and overall consumption.
As reported by Capital FM, 26 percent of Gambia’s output comes from the agriculture sector, and within the sector three-fourths of the population is employed. The bans are expected to generate more jobs and possibly increase agricultural output, though figures have yet to be released.
In the least, retailers who also rely on cheap imported goods will have nearly three years to make the adjustment.