Jammeh reiterates plan to ban importation of basic foods - President Yahya Jammeh has said he is “determined to end the importation of basic food items by 2016 without fail.”
“Our traditional Gambian dishes are being replaced by unhealthy and for most Muslims, haram junk food, being imported into this country,” Jammeh said Monday, on the eve of Gambia’s 49th Independence Anniversary Tuesday. 'This dangerous trend must end.”
In June 2013, President Jammeh announced that his government would ban the importation of rice into the country by 2016.
“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,” Jammeh said.
Rice is a staple diet in The Gambia and the country heavily depends on its importation from south-east Asia for local consumption.
He said “I am sure you will agree with me that national pride and independence are meaningless without one’s ability to rely on and feed oneself.”
“Therefore, as we celebrate this independence anniversary, let us take this solemn and sacred responsibility to grow what we eat and eat what we grow,” he added. “In fact, eating what we do not grow, which means eating what we do not know, is detrimental to the attainment of a healthy nation and by extension, a wealthy nation.”
He said for a country to be highly developed, secured, peaceful, stable and independent, it must be a very healthy country.
According to Jammeh, eating what “we do not grow or know is responsible for strange health problems that are encountered in today’s Gambia.”