By Sarjo Brito
The Ministry of Trade and Regional Integration has recently finalized a framework to promote the marketing of local onions. The framework according to the ministry will see the control of imported onions through an inion import license which will be issued by the Trade Ministry yearly to allow the sales of domestic onions. The move is part of an effort to address the challenges in the marketing of local onions and as well minimizing the post-harvest losses.
‘’The Ministry of Trade, Industry, Regional Integration, and Employment wishes to inform the public, particularly the importers and local producers of onions that it has finalized a framework to support the marketing of local onions. Under the framework, importers of onions will be controlled through an onion import license issued by the Ministry every year to enable the sales of domestic onions’’
Licenses according to the Ministry will be issued effective June 1st to December 31st, 2022. Meanwhile, the Trade Ministry says it encourages all farmers of local onions who currently have stocks to inform their Agriculture Regional Directorates or their respective Regional Agriculture Marketing Federation of the quantities of inions they possess. The Ministry further stated that it will facilitate the licensed importers to work closely with the Agriculture Marketing Federation to buy the local onions.
The process is expected to be implemented yearly to assist farmers in swiftly selling their onions to support their livelihoods and promote the production of local onions.
Lack of sufficient storage facilities and poor market systems continues to pose major problems for Gambian farmers, discouraging many from embarking on vegetable production.