Minister Kinteh: Moratorium on Importation of Onion is Temporal

Hon. Fatou Kinteh

By: Kebba AF Touray

The Women’s Affairs Minister, Madam Fatou Kinteh, has clarified that the recent moratorium placed on the importation of onion into the county is temporal.
Minister Kinteh made this clarification on Wednesday 15th July 2020, during an interview with this reporter.

He said, “the move aims to ensure that during harvesting of onion produce, the women and onion growers can be opportune to sell their produce to the importers instead of importing onion into the country. It also aims to assure the women and onion growers that an avenue and markets have been put in place for them to sell their onions within the country”.

She emphasized, “the moratorium is just for a period of time and it aims to creating market for the onion growers to sell their produce and the good thing is that now we have Gambian entrepreneurs who are willing to buy these onions from the women and other onion growers”.

The entrepreneurs, she added, have encouraged women growers to form associations and are supporting women with inputs such as fertilizer, so that women can produce onion with better quality and higher value and they will buy the onions immediately after harvest.

She clarified that the data presented on onion during the press briefing was collected by the Ministry of Agriculture, whom she said has staff in the field and are working with the women onion growers.

She remarked that the women onion growers have expressed their appreciation with the move and now they will go back to the women and disclose to them the plans they have to help the women maximize their onion production.

She emphasized, “the Ministry of Agriculture collected the data, because they have their staff and regional workers who are working with the producers, majority of whom are women. I want to sincerely thank the Ministry of Agriculture for the reliable and authentic data they have provided”.

She averred, “the price of onion will be determined by the Ministry of Trade and once it is determined, we will communicate to the growers. I am calling on the onion growers to continue their production and I can assure them that their produce will be bought and we will give them their monies on the spot”.

On the Women’s Enterprise Find, Minister Kinteh said the fund aims to create access to women in terms of micro-finance and access to credits, as the women constitute majority of Micro and Small Entrepreneurship in the Gambia.

She noted that the Women Enterprise Bill currently before the Legislature is the legal requirement of the Fund and that once the requirements of the fund are met and issued, they will release the fund.