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Innovation platforms trained on field crop production and group management

Aug 28, 2014, 10:23 AM | Article By: Abdou Rahman Sallah

Fifty local famers drawn from five innovation platforms - groundnut, findi, maize, rice and cowpea - in three districts, namely Nianija, Niani and Sami from CRR North, recently converged at Kuntaur agric-conference hall to discuss innovation issues to improve agricultural production and productivity including organizational management.

The two-day convergence was organised by WAAPP focal point through the RAD office to sustainably intensify integration of all five innovation platforms together.

Speaking at the official opening of the meeting, Seyfo Pierre Bah of Niani district hailed Regional Agricultural Directorate CRR North for spearheading such an initiative in collaboration with WAAPP.

He noted that bringing farmers together to learn from their experiences to improve their agricultural production and productivity is a step in the direction and in line with the government’s aspiration of Vision 2016.

He also commended the government through the agricultural sector for supporting farmers with seeds, fertilizers, and agricultural inputs to improve their crop yield.

Kebba Jammeh, deputy director of RAD for CRR North, stated that innovation platform is given an edge to improve yield and productivity and provide technical assistance to all farmers through extension workers.

According to him, the innovation platform is supported with farm inputs, seeds, fertilizers and technical information to optimize their produce but shall be paid back to the platform, which is managed and controlled by the platform themselves.

One of the key challenges Mr Jammeh outlined is the level of illiteracy among the farmers, which has made some of them resisting change or accepting new technologies.

The forum created an opportunity for all parties to share their experience, roles and responsibilities in ensuring they achieve food security and thus reduce poverty.

He used the opportunity to urge farmers who are actively engaged in the innovation platforms to continue with their commitment in rice, findi, maize, and groundnut and cowpea production, thus achieve food security in the country.

Ensa Mendy of West African Agricultural Productivity Program (WAAPP), focal point for CRR North, stated that the meeting was meant for farmers to come together, learn and share experience and adopt best practices to improve crop productivity thus, promote achievement of Vision 2016.

According to him, the ultimate objective of the two-day convergence was to bring all the agricultural players, ranging from farmers, to agribusiness marketers, producers, consumers, processors and local authorities, to meet and share their experiences to improve agricultural production and productivity and enhance the realization of the government aspirations of Vision 2020 and Vision 2016.