May 30, 2008, 6:05 AM
Farmer fields schools training of master trainers on cashew nut, groundnut and sesame kick-started Monday at the National Nutrition Agency (NaNA) headquarters in Bakau.
The workshop, which brought a number of participants from different sectors, is funded through the Enhanced Integrated Framework (EIF) Trust Fund which is a technical assistance framework for least developed countries to assist them to integrate into the global economy.
The Enhanced Integrated Framework National Implementation Unit under the Ministry of Trade, Industry, Regional Integration and Employment (MOTIE), in collaboration with the International Trade Centre (ITC) convened the six-day forum.
The weeklong training looked at building the capacities of FFS in the three sectors - groundnut, cashew nut, and sesame - by training five trainers for each of the sectors mentioned, who will further train forty (40) core trainers to train farmers in the field.
The three lead institutions selected to coordinate the implementation of FFS in the three sectors are ASPA for Groundnut, NAWFA for sesame and Cashew Alliance of Gambia for Cashew Nut along with an international consultant and three national consultants who will lead and facilitate the trainings.
Speaking in an interview with this reporter, Momodou Touray, programme officer, Enhanced Integrated Unit at the Ministry of Trade, Industry Regional Integration and Employment, said the workshop formed part of an export diversification project jointly implemented by the International Trade Centre and local stakeholders in The Gambia.
He said the project has three components which is sector pacific support to sesame, cashew and groundnut in the area of sector development and quality enhancement, establishment of trade information at the Ministry of Trade, and development of an inclusive tourism project.
Mr Touray added that the workshop is specifically for the quality enhancement of the three crops through the farmer field schools in The Gambia.
The whole training is basically to improve the capacity of farmers in good agricultural practices and in quality enhancement in food capacity, he noted.
The trainees of these master trainers will also be on how to establish and run farmer field schools.
Touray noted that at the end of the training the master trainees will be equipped with skills to train core trainers and support the implementation of farmer field schools.