director of Health, Environment and Information Network (HEIN), a Civil Society
Organization, has underscored the importance the organization attaches to
empowering vegetable growers on effective management of pesticides and other
hazardous chemicals on vegetables and field crops.
Alh. Momodou Masanneh Kanteh was speaking on Saturday at a two-day capacity development for 50 vegetable growers on the use of alternative pesticides to manage and delay pest infestation.
The two-day training was held at the Regional Agricultural Directorate in Kerewan, North bank Region, and targeted domestic and farm pest management for women farmers within the intervention villages of Kerewan and Illiasa.
The training covered site selection, land preparation, seed selection, nursery preparation, transplanting techniques, monitoring and sanitation, crop rotation, composting and market research.
He said the training would strengthen farmers capacity as vegetable growers, noting that pesticides are only friendly if handled as recommended.
He noted that building the capacity of farmers on the alternative uses of pesticides, would promote efficiency and are environmentally friendly.
The director further noted that farmers should be proactive on the adoption of best agricultural practises to reduce pest populations and delay outbreaks of pests.
He called on farmers to promote closer contact with frontline extension workers for advice on proper management to ensure harvest of crops/vegetables to increase production, without causing much destruction to the environment.
“The effective management of nurseries will reduce and delay pest infestation which will lead to good seedlings, through the adoption of alternative uses of pesticides,” he said.
He stressed the need for vegetable growers to desist from harvesting vegetables for consumption immediately after applying pesticides.
Governor Ebrima K.S. Dampha thanked Health, Environment and Information Network (HEIN) for complementing the government in attaining food security and improving the health of vegetable growers through the proper management of pesticides.
He said creating public awareness among producers on the hazardous effects of pesticides on human health was crucial in safe-guarding and protecting producers and consumers.
Chief Fabala Fadia Kinteh of lower Baddibou called on farmers to disseminate the information.
Kaddy Jadama, president of FANDEMA Women kafo of Kerewan, and Jakunding Dibba, President of Salikene, Kalpeh Ba Kafo both thanked the organisation for building their capacity in managing and delaying pest infestation on vegetables and crops.
The programme aimed to help producers adopt best agricultural practises that will increase income and consumption of vegetables free from pesticides.