May 22, 2009, 7:24 AM
The sensitization was held with the technical support of the National Agricultural Research Institute (NARI).
The sensitization, held at Kunkujang Jattaya village, brought together participants mainly within the Kombo north district of the West Coast Region.
Speaking at the training, the monitoring and evaluation officer of WAAPP, madam Yassin Khan, said WAAPP is a regional programme from which The Gambia is also benefiting.
The objective of the WAAPP basically is to yield and enhance production and productivity in rice, maize, groundnut, vegetable and livestock.
In regard to this farmers’ sensitization, she said the activity is within the concept of trying to develop technology and disseminate to farmers to improve production and productivity.
She also told the gathering that recently, WAAPP has engaged the National Agricultural Research Institutes (NARI), who are the implementing agency for WAAPP activity.
She said based on that, NARI formed innovation platform across the country for implementing of three commodities such as rice, maize and groundnut.
She also asserted that the first step that NARI did was to sensitize the regional agricultural directorates across the country on the concepts of innovation platform so they can talk to farmers.
She used the opportunity to thank NARI officials for their hard work, which are all geared towards improving agricultural productivity in the country.
The forum was held to talk to farmers on soil and water management trying to make so farmers understand the cultural practices that would lead to better yield.
Madam Khan added that farmers from different parts of the West Coast Region had demonstrated a very high sense of commitment and discussed their system of production in terms of maize, production, how they produce maize from soil preparation, planting, fertilizer application, to wedding and among other agricultural best practices.
According to her, the aim of the farmer sensitization was to come up with a resolution to be able to maximize production and productivity in maize in particular.
She also advised the farmers to double their effort hence the project is ready to give support to the farmers in ensuring they achieve their goals in terms of increasing agricultural production yield.
Lamin Jobe, director of research at NARI, expressed appreciation at the level of the participation of the farmers during the daylong sensitization forum.
This was a clear indication that the farmers are very much concerned about their welfare and in increasing their agricultural production, Dr Jobe said.
He noted that maximizing high yield needs a collective responsibility in all forms by enhancing and sensitizing farmers on the best practices of agriculture.
Jobe noted that with the intervention of WAAPP, Gambian farmers will realise a lot of improvement in their agricultural practices, which could result into a much needed bumper yield.
Meanwhile many farmers who spoke on the occasion expressed appreciation for organizing such a very important forum for them.