O. Jallow, president of the National Livestock Owners Association of The Gambia
(NLOA), has challenged agricultural project directors to involve farmer groups
in the implementation of the livestock component of projects.
He said such involvement can be done through working in close collaboration with NLOA as it has representatives in all the regions of The Gambia.
Mr Jallow said since agricultural projects are meant for the farmers, there is a need to involve farmer groups in the whole process rather than isolate them.
He further said directors of projects with a livestock component should endeavour to explain to farmers the component and their [famers] roles, and what benefits they can achieve from the implementation of the component.
“There are numerous agricultural projects in this country, and most of them have livestock components. The directors of these projects should work with the National Livestock Owners Association for the successful implementation of those components,” president of the association said.
“For the past 30 years, many agricultural projects have been implemented in this country, but once the projects phased out, everything stops because there was no sustainability mechanism put in place.”
Besides, he said, going out of the country to buy rice, animals, and other agricultural produce that are available in the country is not helping the development of agriculture in The Gambia.
Mr Jallow said: “If agriculture is to be holistically developed in The Gambia, there is a need for a change of attitude: Gambians generally have to change their attitudes, farmers have to change and, most importantly, agricultural project directors have to change their attitude.”
He said NLOA is ready and committed to work with projects that have livestock components to improve the livestock sector.
The NLOA president, however, acknowledged that there are projects that are “doing tremendously well” to improve the livelihood of the livestock owners.
He said there is a need to work with the livestock association to establish drinking points for animals in every part of the country.
Jallow noted that the current drinking points in the country are too exposed; meaning the continuous drinking of animals could lead to contamination.
He said grazing areas is another area of concern where the agricultural projects should come to the aid of livestock owners.