West Coast Regional Agricultural directorate on Saturday observed aquaculture
field day and fish harvesting at Ndemban Japichum Village in Foni Berefet
The field day brought together representatives from the ministry of fisheries and agriculture, the former livestock and horticulture development project (LHDP), the Nema project, United purpose, Trust Agency for Rural Development (TARUD), farmers, and villagers.
It was meant to recognise the gains made by Saikou Suntukung Sanyang in sustaining one of the components of the LHDP project and also help in ensuring an outlet for marketing the produce as well as providing a platform for farmers to learn.
In his welcoming remarks, the chief of the district, Alh Junkung Camara, commended the regional agriculture directorate for their drive to diversify agriculture and urged the people of The Gambia to unite, saying without peace no meaningful development could take place.
The West Coast Regional agriculture director, Kaddy Bojang, declared that the event among others was meant not only to consolidate the gains made in the aquaculture sector, but also to commend Saikou Suntukung Sanyang for his hard work, dedication and commitment in sustaining the project, which has been one of the Livestock Horticultural Development Project’s (LHDP) brain child.
She spoke of her ministry’s resolve to diversify agriculture by encouraging and supporting farmers to venture in other farming activities such as aquaculture, animal husbandry among others.
According to director Bojang, this would contribute immensely toward the realisation of her ministry’s objectives while expressing delight to the beneficiary for sustaining the project, she urged other farmers to emulate him.
A representative of NEMA, Musa Bayo underscored the importance of aquaculture towards the improvement of livelihood and its health benefits.
He noted that NEMA has been a continuing project started by LHDP and challenged other beneficiaries to emulate Saikou Suntukung Sanyang in sustaining their project and advised the young people of the country to engage in such initiative for their own wellbeing and refrain from embarking on irregular migration.
On his part, the CRR agriculture director, Famara Trawally, highlighted the importance of the initiative, which, he said, enhances food security through diversification.
He urged farmers to take agriculture as a business in order to sustain their projects.
The owner of the fish ponds, Saikou Suntukung Sanyang, explained that he started venturing in aquaculture in December 2006 with six ponds despite his sickness.
The ponds, he said, if harvested could produce up to 200 to 250 kg of fish, adding that the aquaculture farm have become a learning and visiting facility for farmers, students from the University of The Gambia, extension workers among others.
Mr Sanyang spoke of his readiness to assist in the growth of aquaculture in the area not only for it progressively improving but for the development of the value chain of the activity.
He urged philanthropists and other stakeholders in the agriculture sector to support for the construction of a hall that would host people that regularly visit the facility as well as help complete the construction of a fish pond, appropriate processing and storage facilities and other assistance that would help in the development of the aquaculture farm.
He thanked the Ministry of Fisheries and Agriculture, the LHDP, the NEMA projects and other institutions that have in one way or the other supported his farm.