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FASDEP targets reducing rural household poverty, food insecurity

Oct 8, 2015, 12:03 PM | Article By: Abdoulie Nyockeh

Project coordinator of FASDEP, Kebba L. Jarju, has said one of the targets of the Food and Agriculture Sector Development Project (FASDEP) is to reduce rural household poverty, food insecurity and malnutrition through increased agricultural production, productivity and commercialization.

He made this statement recently in an interview with this reporter at the end of the deputy minister’s familiarization tour and handing-over of six mix-farming centres across the country.

During the tour, a lot of concerns were raised by the farmers ranging from lack of equipment to problems of farming, water, combined harvesters, tractors, seeds, fertilizers, and others.

In response to some of these concerns, the project coordinator, Kebba L. Jarju, said as coordinator of FASDEP, he and his team would continue to look at ways of making farming more productive for all and sundry, particularly farmers.

According to Director Jarju, the tour was very important for the Ministry of Agriculture and its line department and projects.

The tour was undertaken to go round the country and look at what is happening in agriculturein termsofwhat the projects are doingand also the farmers vis-a-vis Vision 2016 activities.

He said the mix farming centres are very important for farmers as they would serve as learning places for farmers.

“Over the years we have seen them in a very bad condition and having the government intervene to provide the funding to rehabilitate at least six mix farming centres is a significant development for the whole agriculture sector,” he noted.

The centres will serve as a training ground both in the dry and rainy seasons, with cropping production and livestock activities to be on-going in the centres.

He said the tour of various agricultural sites would help them to learn more about the situation of farming and the challenges of farmers in the country.

During the tour, he noted, the delegation visited some of the communities that FASDEP has been supporting and learn about some of their challenges.

There is a need to support the communities as they face numerous challenges in their areas, he said.

He challenged project coordinators to go on the ground to meet with the farmers, share ideas and give them the necessary support that would help farming activities.

“It is very important to build that network between the project and the farming communities,” he added.

He also urged the extension workers to visit the farmers, discuss with them, know their challenges, and help them solve their problems.

“For us at FASDEP already we have designed activities that are in line with the project, such as construction of a fish pond to promote aquaculture, small ruminant, breeding, and ram fattening, poultry for both schools and communities,” he said.

He added that they have also worked on land development for tidal irrigation, increasing tidal access, soil conservation, and feeder roads to link producers to markets.

They would continue to work on other infrastructural issues such as civil works, although they are faced with some challenges, he said.