- Availability of Quality Seed to Farmers: The Government of The Gambia, through its various institutions, the private sector and other indigenous stakeholders and in cooperation with relevant development partners, shall aim at ensuring adequate and timely availability of quality seed to farmers at reasonable prices and at appropriate locations. The National Seed Programme shall aim at injecting reasonable quantities of quality seeds in accordance with demand and available production facilities.
- Viability and the Contribution of the Seed Industry: The long-term expectation is that the seed industry should be a financially viable sub sector in its own right. However, Government recognises that in the short term, emphasis should be laid on the developmental aspects of the industry as a public service. This is because it is the opinion of the Government that the more important contribution of the seed industry at the moment should be the resultant overall increase in the contribution of agriculture to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), increased food production, improvement in rural incomes, household food and nutrition security and an elevated standard of living of the rural population.
- Food Security through Seed Security: It is the view of Government that strengthening the seed supply system will contribute to national and household food security by increasing crop production and by providing seeds in times of stress, such as drought. Against this background, Government will strive to develop an efficient and sustainable seed system to meet the needs of the country’s farmers.
The National Seed Secretariat (NSS), shall produce the quantities and types of such
foundation seed to ensure that farmers’ demand for improved seed varieties developed after years of research in the formal seed sector are met. NSS will therefore:
- Guide and support certified seed production by registered seed growers in a manner which helps them develop financially and technologically to become self-sustaining private-sector seed operators.
- Encourage and support the private sector to produce certified seeds that are required by farmers. Public sector institutions will assist the private sector by contributing new varieties, early generation seeds, quality assurance and certification services as well as capacity building.
- Government is of the opinion that the eventual attainment of a comprehensive national seed programme will place national agriculture in a strong position to be able to minimize the negative impact of natural disasters, provide in-built disaster mitigation ability and thereby reduce the huge funding that is normally involved in external emergency seed relief assistance. Towards that end, Government appeals to its development partners to recognize the need to extend their assistance towards the further development of the National Seed Programme through the support and implementation of the National Seed Policy.