Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Harnessing Gambia’s Potential: A Call to Business Owners to Drive Economic Revival

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OPINION

By Bakary J. Janneh

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Business owners have a responsibility to salvage the country’s food insecurity.
The Gambia yet, despite its fertile lands and rich agricultural heritage, the country grapples with the daunting challenge of soaring living costs, particularly in essentials like rice. As we navigate the tenure of President Adama Barrow, it’s clear that tackling these issues demands a concerted effort beyond government initiatives alone. It beckons the entrepreneurial spirit of our business community to step up and lead the charge towards economic resurgence.

At the forefront of this endeavour lies the imperative for business owners to reevaluate their investment strategies. Instead of perpetuating a reliance on imported goods, which only exacerbates the burden on citizens’ wallets, they must pivot towards domestic production. The solution lies not in the shelves of foreign markets but in the untapped potential of our own soil.

The call to action is simple: invest in agriculture. The Gambia boasts vast expanses of arable land, tailor-made for cultivating staple crops like rice. By redirecting resources towards this sector, business owners can contribute to national food security and alleviate the strain on household budgets. Imagine a Gambia where locally grown rice fills our plates, nourishing both body and economy.

However, this transition requires more than just financial commitment. It demands a fundamental shift in mindset and a return to the drawing board, where the focus shifts from profit margins to societal impact. It’s about recognising the interconnectedness of business success and community prosperity. By prioritizing investment in domestic production, businesses not only safeguard their long-term viability but also sow the seeds of sustainable development for generations to come.

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Moreover, this paradigm shift presents a myriad of opportunities for innovation and entrepreneurship. From modernizing agricultural practices to establishing value-added processing facilities, there’s ample room for businesses to carve out their niche in the burgeoning agricultural landscape. By harnessing technology and expertise, we can transform the agricultural sector into a dynamic engine of economic growth, creating jobs and fostering resilience in the face of global uncertainties.

Together, we can build a Gambia where prosperity is not a distant dream but a tangible reality for all. To the business owners of The Gambia, the time is now. Embrace the opportunity to be catalysts for change, to transform challenges into triumphs, and to sow the seeds of a more prosperous tomorrow.

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