Micro-gardening: good initiative that needs more impetus

Monday, October 03, 2016

The Micro-garden Exposition and Demonstration training held recently by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) in collaboration with the Department of Agriculture is a step in the right direction.

This is because the training and the project itself is designed to promote urban agriculture, employment creation, income generation and food and nutrition security in the country.

The project undertaking, which is part of a global initiative in which urban gardening is gaining substantial momentum, is out to effectively place sub-Saharan Africa as a hub for Green Cities Approach as well as Food and Nutrition Security Strategy.

All urban cities in The Gambia are targeted under the project to ensure the success of micro gardens across the country.

Micro-gardening, which is promoted by this Greener Cities Approach, is of immense benefit to the horticultural farming communities in this country, as it serves as a reliable source of fresh food and other avenues for financial resources for low-income families.

“Micro-gardens are highly productive and be easily managed by anyone – women, men, children, the elderly and the disabled,” said FAO Resident Representative.

“Micro-garden technology has the possibility to create job in the cities for women and youths, and to address food and nutrition security in urban areas.”

According to reports, the FAO, in collaboration with the city of Milan in Italy has “successfully introduced micro-gardens and urban agriculture in over one thousand major cities in the world, to which farmers and even school children have benefited through training and other forms of support.

The initiative being introduced and supported in The Gambia will neatly complement Government’s drive in diversification, food security, poverty reduction, rural development and economic growth.

However, as the FAO assists the farming communities by improving their production and productivity in order to be self-sufficient in food - as well as have some source of generating income - it should also be borne in mind that production and productivity is not enough to improve the condition of the low-income farmers.

Assisting the farming communities also to create marketing opportunities for their produce would go a long way in bringing them out of severe poverty in this country.

“Gardening is a matter of your enthusiasm holding up until your back gets used to it.”
Author Unknown