Dec 14, 2012, 9:08 AM
This was done to boost food production, livestock and small ruminant production to make farming more lucrative and enhance income and food security.
Farmers were also taken on field practical on demarcation of garden bed, spacing of crops, seed sowing during the three-day training held at the Njawara Agricultural Training Centre in the North Bank Region.
In his opening remarks, Alasan CMB Bah of North Bank Agricultural Directorate noted that farmers play important roles in food production and diversification to contribute to food security and sustainable livelihood.
He said capacity development of farmers is vital in enhancing quality vegetable production, small ruminant and livestock rearing and poultry production.
Mr Bah reiterated that support from the Livestock and Horticulture Development Project (LHDP) has contributed immensely to raising farmers’ awareness and understanding of best farming practices and technology to improve quality production and by extension promote value change addition.
He calls on farmers to be goodwill ambassadors of the LHDP and Department of Agriculture in the adoption of appropriate technology.
The agric officer seized the occasion to call on farmers to build good relationship with frontline extension workers for advice.
Dilating on the impact of the LHDP capacity development, Momodou Darboe, Regional Livestock officer, noted that series of training programmes have enabled farmers to adopt best agricultural practices to boost yield and income.
He lauded the efforts of farmers for their steadfastness in poultry production, noting that the LHDP recently provided 8000 poultry birds to support farmers in poultry keeping.
The NBR livestock boss noted that as a result of capacity development, farmers were able to administer drugs, slaughter poultry birds, and conduct packaging and marketing of poultry products within and outside NBR.
He said the project attaches great importance to diversification and adopts best agricultural practices, noting that there is need for farmers to uphold extension advice to boost production and productivity.
Darboe noted that good breed of animals would help farmers to increase production and contribute to poverty reduction, and stressed the need for farmers to ensure timely treatment against disease, if provided with right shelter.
The regional livestock officer noted that the LHDP plans to train 400 farmers in 2013 within the International Fund for Agricultural Development and African Development Bank to increase food production through capacity enhancement.
Farmers were able to manage, harvest, dry and store and by extension make mineral leaks for animals.
The Livestock and Horticulture Development Project NBR focal person for Horticulture, Mao Jaiteh, commended the communities of Mbolet ba and Illiasa for promoting year round vegetable production.
He said the project has demarcated over 1000 garden beds in each site, with the view to enhancing farmers’ capacity to adopt good spacing, tinning and pruning.
Sana Singhateh, Focal Point Sustainable Land Management Project, noted that farmers should adopt best agricultural practices to improve horticultural production.
Noting that demarcation beds, spacing and fertilizer application are crucial to quality vegetable production, Sana urged vegetable farmers to promote year-round production, to enhance income and nutrition.
Batch Samba Njie, Pest Management Specialist at Kerewan, noted that farmers should ensure proper handling of pesticide at the right time to avoid pest infestation.
He said the management of crops and vegetable against pest is vital to bring about quality production and income.
Mr Njie called on the farming community to be proactive in the use of herbicide and pesticide at all time.
Nfamara Conteh, Field Officer Farmer Group MDG 1C Project at FAO Kerewan office, dilated on effective group formation and management by farmer groups, noting that it would promote networking and communication in sharing of quality production.
He called on farmer associations to be proactive to promote good governance and public accountability in the management of public resources.
Various presenters praised the LHDP for its invaluable support to enhancing production and productivity.
Other farmers who spoke at the training were Basiru Jallow of Kerr Ardo, Momodou Kanteh of Kinteh Kunda Marong Kunda, Fatou Sowe of Ndungu Charren and Nyaranding Jawara of Kerewan, all thanked the LHDP and agricultural department for their support and cooperation to farmers’ welfare.