HC Deb 16 February 1949 vol 461 cc1120-1
9. Mr. Dumpleton

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies what progress has been made to date with the proposal to develop rice production in the Gambia.

Mr. Creech Jones

The Gambia Government have a scheme by which 32 square miles in the neighbourhood of Bathurst, the capital, would be reclaimed from the sea, and about half of this area planted with rice. A Consulting Engineer is now in the Colony examining the reclamation scheme in more detail. The West African Rice Mission has also suggested that a mechanised rice scheme should be tried in the area of McCarthy Island on the middle Gambia river and the Governor who is very anxious to increase rice production in the Colony is considering whether funds can be found for this.

Mr. Dumpleton

Can my right hon. Friend say whether it is possible as yet to give any estimate as to when there will be some results from this scheme to grow food in the Colony; when it will make a real contribution to better nutrition within the Colony; and when there will be an exportable surplus of rice?

Mr. Creech Jones

It is hoped that as a result of this work, 10,000 additional acres will be brought into cultivation, but in the Colony they are, of course, very conscious of the importance of increasing the food supply.

Mr. Erroll

Is not the poultry scheme interfering with the rice scheme?

Mr. Creech Jones

I have not heard that that is the case.

Forward to