Aug 27, 2013, 11:33 AM
Radville Farms Gambia Limited at the weekend convened a sensitization workshop for twenty mango growers on the process of forming cooperative.
The forum was organised in collaboration with the agri-business unit through funding from the Gambia Cooperative Project (GCP) on the mango out-grower programme.
The training, which targeted eleven farmer group representatives, was held at the Regional Education Office in Brikama, West Coast Region.
Speaking at the event, Sulayman Mboge, project coordinator of Radville Farms Gambia Limited, said the objective of the mango out-grower scheme is for GCP to establish partnership with a nucleus farm (such as Radville Farms) to develop the establishment of the commercial mango farming system in The Gambia through an out-grower scheme to produce a constant volume and quality of new and existing varieties targeted for the fresh fruit export market and to strengthen the capacity of the primary and smallholder farms.
He said the project also seeks to link beneficiaries to international market supply chain, particularly for exporting premium grade mangoes.
“With this objective, Radville Farms has to invest in the establishment and maintenance of a nucleus farm and processing plant and the Government of The Gambia, through GCP, will provide matching grants for soft investments,” he disclosed.
In his official opening statement, the chairman of the Brikama Area Council, Bakary S. Saibo Sanneh, said the notion of farmer cooperatives as a tool for both rural and urban organizations has a long history not only in The Gambia but also around the world.
He noted that the formation of a farmer cooperative as a means of increasing the bargaining power of smallholders has received renewed support from many international development organizations.
He stated further that an organization such as the farmer cooperative has potential to enable producers to cope with the transition process by increasing their bargaining power in the marketplace, building social capital necessary for development and gaining influence in the policymaking arena.