A political crisis with the major risk of a violent development is accelerating in The Gambia and threatening agricultural journalists there. The International Federation of Agricultural Journalists (IFAJ) is concerned about the situation of its colleagues in The Gambia and in their ability to carry out their duties as professionals.
The Gambian government has made it difficult for journalists to do their jobs. For example, it has shut down internet connections and restricted SMS services. Some journalists have been deported from the country. At least one agricultural journalist, Bakary Fatty, has been detained and imprisoned without charges.
The Gambia is a small nation and one of the most impoverished countries in the world. Its natural resources are few. About 90 percent of the population relies on agriculture. Agricultural journalists provide a lifeline of information on production, weather, markets and policy for farmers. It is important that journalists can freely report on the sector domestically and globally.
Freedom of the press is IFAJ’s most fundamental principle. The federation urges the government to permit agricultural journalists to serve the nation’s farmers without restrictions.
For more information, please contact:
Owen Roberts, IFAJ President