#Article (Archive)

AAITG’s smallholder farm beneficiaries explain benefits, challenges as visits end

Nov 10, 2014, 11:20 AM | Article By: Adama K. Jallow

ActionAid International-The Gambia (AAITG) smallholder farmer beneficiaries in the rural areas have given various assessments on this year’s farming season in the regions, and the benefits they have received from the organization.

AAITG conducted a four-day smallholders’ farms visit in the North Bank and Central River regions, which ended on Saturday.

The visit gave a chance to the famers to speak on the effects of this year’s insufficient rainfall, as well as some of the improvements they have benefited from through AAITG’s intervention.

They procured varieties of seeds and trained over hundred farmers on sustainable agriculture, from the AAITG intervention.

This intervention was seen as AAITG complementing the government’s efforts to eradicate poverty, empower farmers and ensure the availability of sufficient food produced in The Gambia.

Smallholder farmers were also trained on how to maintain soil moisture through the application of compost fertilizer, intercropping, mix cropping to improve the soil fertility and improved production. Seeds procured for farmers included sesame, rice, maize, groundnuts and beans, among others.

Foday Sowe, a sesame farmer at Anex Kunda in CRR, whose farms included groundnuts, maize and sesame, said he was one of the beneficiaries of the training sessions on sustainable agriculture offered by the organization over the years.

“I have really benefited from the teachings and the procurement of seeds, and have also trained my fellow farmers who have also seen the benefits over the period, thanks to AAITG’s intervention,” Sowe said.

Considering the effects of this year’s rains, Sowe said he decided to go for early-maturing sesame farming, pointing out that out of two kilos of sesame grown, he hopes to harvest two tonnes this season.

Musukebbah Kanteh of Pinyai village CRR said the sustainable system she was taught by AAITG help in her groundnuts and beans farms.

AAITG’s intervention would help to eradicate poverty in the country, she said, and urged her fellow farmers to make good use of the knowledge gained.

Another beneficiary, Allassan Sabally of Njie Kunda in CRR, urged farmers to use compost fertilizer to maintain soil fertility, and to introduce mix cropping in their farms for sustainability.

According to Sabally, he was taught mix cropping and effective field management after AAITG intervened.

Other beneficiaries whose farms were visited included Mama Faal of Njie Kunda village, Awa Jobe of Kerr Lein village and Suntu Wally in Tuba Demba Sama in Niamina East in the Central River Region.