May 26, 2009, 5:27 AM
Seventy-eight farmers have been trained on manure production at Kiang West in the Lower River Region.
The training, which targeted twenty-six farmers from each cluster, was funded by PROGEBE- Gambia and implemented by the department of agriculture.
“The overall objectives of this training were to develop and implement approaches to community-based conservation and management of the environment through the use of organic manure produce nutrients crop residue and good biomass for the feeding of the endemic ruminant livestock.
Deputizing the alkalo of Kiang Karantaba at the ceremony, Alhagie Mustapha Kambi commended the department of Agriculture for holding the important training for farmers in his village.
This is a clear indication that the Government has placed farmers at the forefront of national development.
Speaking at the training, Matarr Njie, Principal Agriculture Officer at the Animal Health and Production Services, said the training is of great importance to their production, as far as the project is concerned.
“The project is expecting the participants at the end of the training to be able to produce manure that will improve crop yield, improve the soil structure through application of manure, to better manage the environment through the reduction in the practice of shifting cultivation,” he said.
“The aim was for the farmers to produce good biomass of crop residues for livestock feeding, and to improve their income generating capacity.”
In his remarks, Emmanuel Mendy, the project focal officer and coordinator of PROGEBE Gambia, said the training geared towards enhancing the farmers’ knowledge and capacity in agricultural production.
Mr Mendy also challenged the farmers to take ownership of their environment and produce more manure for their farm, saying “the project is here to build the capacity of the farmers”.
Also speaking at the training Nerry Corr, side coordinator for PROGEBE Gambia in Kiang West, told the participants the training aimed at developing farmers’ capacity to produce their own manure from their natural resource.
Mr Corr also told the farmers that PROGEBE Gambia has contracted partners to implement some of their activities, which include the department of agriculture.
“The significance of this training to the farmers cannot be over-emphasised as this training will teach the farmers how to prepare the production of manure for the sustainability of their livestock,” he said.
He also used the occasion to advise farmers to adopt practices that will be of benefit to their livestock and for the sustainability of their crops production.
Also speaking at the training one of the facilitators, Saikou Ceesay, from the department of agriculture, introduced the participants to different methods of preparing manure production, which include the quick compose one of the best method of preparation for manure production.
He advised the farmers to choose the best method that is appropriate for them in crops production.
Sainey Jadama, a facilitator of the project, expressed similar sentiments whilst thanking the department of Agriculture for organizing the training.
He recommended PROGEBE Gambia for organizing more training activities for the farmers to strengthening their capacity in crop production.
Fatoumatta Manjang, a farmer and participant at the meeting, said: “This training is of great importance to them, in the sense that this manure will help to reduce the cost and will also help us during the dry season as most of us cultivate rice.”
By the end of the training participants were exposed to practical aspects of preparing manure in their respective areas.
The farmers also assured organizers of the training that “they will make the best use of the training” as they put the knowledge gained from it into practice.