Bakau women horticultural gardeners have
appealed to government and agencies operating in agricultural development to
assist them in the provision of storage facility to save them from selling at
farm gate prices and post-harvest losses.
The garden, consisting of 535 women within a 10.5 hectares 57 concrete-wall is one of the most effective horticultural gardens in the country.
Two years ago, Gambia confirmed the presence of a dreadful crop destructive pest called Fall Army worm (FAW) in the country, following NARI’s discovery of a pest in the country suspected to be FAW. The pest was first observed in the country in Kembujeh, Radville farm and the Bakau Women garden with significant damage of 60% observed on maize crop.
The Bakau women garden has a land area of 10.5 hectares and 21 thousand bed under-production.
Jalamang L Jatta, a village extension promoter at the garden said, one of their biggest challenges is the non-availability of storage facility which is forcing the woman to sell their farm produce at farm gate prices because they have no other option. “If they don’t do that, all their produce will spoil and that’s a big lose to them.
He said in 2015, the Food and Agriculture Sector Development Project (FASDEP) provided water tanks in the garden which increased production and income for the women but now storage for their produce is posing serious problem.
He said they experience Fall Army Worm invasion between April and July when there is maize because they normally follow the leaves of the maize and other vegetable. “Whenever we discover the pest in the garden, we use our local preventive method like white firewood ashes and spray it on the leaves of the crops.”
Fatou Bojang said they have been experiencing the invasion of different type of pests in their garden, although some of them have not been causing severe damages. “We were advised by agriculture officials to stop using chemicals on our crops because we do not know how to prevent ourselves.”
She equally appealed to the agriculture ministry and any other institution to help them in providing a storage facility to save them from post-harvest losses.