least fifty farmers from five regions who were trained on livestock management
by the Ministry of Agriculture and the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)
of the United Nations have graduate last Friday.
The graduates underwent a 21-day intensive training at Jenoi Agricultural Rural Farmers Training Centre in Lower River Region.
Dubbed -Agro-Pastoral Field School (APFS), the project was supported by the European Union under the theme: Agriculture for economic growth and nutrition/food security to mitigate migration flows.
Louis Agathe Yaccine Tine, FAO programme officer said FAO promotes and facilitate sustainable development of the livestock sector through actions such as access of small-scale livestock producers, saying livestock are integral part of livelihood, particularly in the rural areas, contributing to household income, food security and nutrition.
He said livestock producers often face particularly complex, dynamic and location-specific challenges that cannot be tackled with blanket recommendations and conventional extension methods. “Agriculture is one of the main drivers of Gambia’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and employs nearly 46.4% of the working population and 80.7% of the rural working population.”
Ebrima O. Jallow, president of National Livestock Owners Association (NaLOA) challenged the participants to implement new livestock approaches that they learnt during the course of the training. “We Gambian farmers should work hard and minimize the external aids of other people and work for ourselves.”
Foday Jadama from CRR agriculture coordination office said livestock are vital to people and farming is a key driver of economy. “Farmers are not here to be competing but complementing each other in the field of agriculture. The government is not the issue but the farmers should work hard to make living easy for themselves and the people.”