Screen Shot 2015-10-04 at 2.58.23 PMBeginning in 2016, rice importation into The Gambia will be banned. The measure is an attempt to become self-reliant and to stabilise local agriculture, according to Capital FM.

“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,” President Yahya Jammeh said in a GRTS broadcast speech.

The Gambia is the smallest country on the African mainland, being surrounded by Senegal. Due to its unique geographic location, it is also a hub for trade in the region. Gambia’s exports remain relatively undiversified, being dominated by ground-nuts, which account for 60% of domestically produced exports. The country has sparse natural resource deposits and a limited agricultural base. The remittances from workers overseas and tourist receipts are an important source of foreign capital. The Gambia is a member of the Economic Community of West African States and it benefits from the European Development Fund for ACP Countries. It has maintained a reputation of relative stability and peace, although its sub-region has been marked by recurring instability and conflict.