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Frontline extension workers trained on Integrated Pest Management Curriculum

Nov 14, 2013, 9:47 AM | Article By: Abdou Rahman Sallah

The National Agricultural Land and Water Management Development Project (Nema), in participation with the Plant Protection Services, gathered agricultural extension workers, Conservation Field Assistants (CFAs), project staff, focal Point for Nema project, Department of Agriculture Staff and others for them to have a better understanding of the Integrated Pest Management, Control and Protection.

The training was held from 7 to 9 November 2013 at Jenoi Agricultural Farmers Training Centre in Lower River Region.

It was funded by Nema project and is being implemented by the Plant Protection Services as a service provider.

Speaking at the opening ceremony, Ensa Colley, Monitoring and Evaluation Officer for Nema project, thanked the participants for accepting their invitation to take part in the training.

According to him, as frontline workers, Nema project will work with them to implement a successful project in their respective areas on rice integrated pest management.

Dwelling on the importance of the training, Colley said Nema project has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Plant Protection Services to executive the training, adding that with the calibers of facilitators, he has no doubt that the trainers will learn a lot in the three days.

The three-day training, Colley added, is Training of Trainers (ToT) which will also avail the participants the opportunity to be exposed to the IPM curriculum and manual document, principles and concepts of IPM, pesticides and application techniques, insect pests of rice and their management among other important topics.

Giving background of the Nema project, Colley said the project had been designed to increase income level of the rural folks, through improved productivity, based on sustainable land and water management practices.

According to him, the Nema project finance is at the tune of US $64 million, with IFAD contributing half of the amount, adding that Nema is one of the biggest agricultural projects in The Gambia.

“We need a lot of sacrifice to implement a successful programme because IPM needs a lot of applications ranging from weeds of rice and their management, vertebrate pests of rice and their management etc,” he went on.

“It is only through the collective and collaborative efforts of all, built on a foundation of responsible partnership, that we can make meaningful progress in the realisation of the goal of the project.”

The overall goal of the Nema project, Colley said, is to sustainably increase food security and raise income of smallholders, particularly rural women and youth, by improving rice and vegetable production through land and water management practices.

In addition, the Nema project is targeting all the six agricultural regions in the country, with a focus on women and youth to enable them to participate more actively in development initiatives.

According to Colley, the project will intervene in water management for rice production, vegetable schemes, access and market infrastructure, high quality seed production, agriculture business development and training, among others.

Speaking earlier, Landing Sonko, Head of Plant Protection Services cum Training Coordinator of IPM for Nema, emphasised on rice cultivation, saying Gambians consume rice four times daily.

Therefore, increasing our rice productivity is a great concern to the Government of The Gambia as well as donor partners to see the yield of farmers increase.

According to him, the field workers are very instrumental in implementing a successful project, saying the extension workers are working directly with the farmers on a daily basis on their farms. 

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