May 4, 2015, 12:43 PM
A three-day training for thirty livestock owners within Kombo East District in the West Coast Region on the construction of houses for small ruminants and management kicked off on Monday, at the Wellingara Model Horticultural Centre.
The training that brought together thirty participants mainly women was organised by the Gambia Veterinary Association (GVA) PROGEBE-Gambia.
The training that focused on the construction of houses for small ruminants and breeding and management of small ruminants is a follow-up on a series of trainings on nutrition and health care for livestock owners.
In his remark at the opening ceremony, the President of GVA, Dr. Badara Loum told the gathering that livestock production, particularly the production of small ruminants is very important.
He said with climate change, rising cost of agricultural inputs, such as fertilisers and other agro-chemicals, small ruminants production, if properly managed, could generate considerable income that will come to the rescue of farmers in the event of the occurrence of crop failure and food shortage.
For his part, Dr Sulayman Sonko, the National Expert on Animal Production for PROGEBE-Gambia, said the purpose of the training was to train farmers and livestock owners within the Kombo East on the construction of houses for small ruminants.
He said the objective is to enhance the capacity of livestock owners to manage sheep and goats in order to provide them with proper housing facilities to ensure that the animals are well-managed.
He said after this training there would be followed up trip to the beneficiaries to monitor the knowledge gained and its utilisation by the participants.
According to him, PROGEBE-Gambia is a regional project implemented in Senegal, Guinea, The Gambia and Mali.
“The project took us five years and is now in the final year. The main objective is to enhance biodiversity of our endemic ruminant,” he said.
In his official opening statement, the deputy Permanent Secretary, at the Ministry of Agriculture, Sherifo Bojang thanked the organisers for coming up with the training programme for farmers, particularly livestock owners.
He said building the capacity of farmers in enhancing their agricultural production and productivity is crucial to the Ministry of Agriculture.
While challenging the participants to take the training with seriousness, he implored them to construct houses for small ruminants and to adhere to the recommended management practices.