Dec 20, 2019, 3:32 PM
Stakeholders from all walks of life recently validated a sustainable mechanism study report for the supply of seeds and fertilizer to farmers.
The forum, held at Abuko, was organised by the management of the Gambia Emergency Agricultural Production Project (GEAPP) in collaboration with FAMBA Consultancy Firm and Associates.
In his opening remarks on the occasion, the deputy permanent secretary at the Ministry of Agriculture, Asheme Cole, said he was delighted to associate with a validation forum on sustainable mechanism study report.
Validation on mechanism for the supply of seed and fertilizer should be considered a maiden principle, he said, adding that without seeds and fertilizers, there would be no crop production or productivity.
The deputy permanent secretary further says that the president is committed on the provision of farm input for sustainable agriculture in The Gambia.
He urged participants at the forum to open mindedly review the document validated, especially that matters arising from it affect the livelihood of 70 per cent of the country’s population.
Also speaking at the forum, Ebrima Saidy, regional director of Agriculture at West Coast Region who represented the director general of Agriculture, expressed sentiments similar to those of Mr Cole.
He also raised concern on the status of the upland soil, which, he said, is rapidly depleting and going down annually.
In his statement on the occasion, the project coordinator of the GEAPP, Sheikh Tijan Sosseh, who expressed delight at the turnout of the participants, said the report also looked at the designing of a sustainable mechanism for the supply of seed and fertilizers to food crop farmers.
Mr Sosseh said based on past experience, farming inputs, particularly seeds, have challenges for most of the Gambian farmers.
“The Gambia government has invested a lot in the provision of seed for farmers through project, schemes and many others over the years but this is still an issue,” he said.
Mr Sosseh informed the gathering about the recent distribution of farm inputs and machineries that the GEAPP embarked upon to bolster farmers, saying: “We procured and distributed 555 tons of certified seeds to farmers across the country in which 6oo villages benefited.
Output of the distributed seeds remarkably yielded dividends, he said, adding that output on record is almost 13,000 metric tons.
As a result of the GEAPP intervention, there was a significant increase in yield because of the favourable fertilizers and other environmental factors during the cropping season, he said.
Mr Sosseh further explained that the consultancy was advertised and six farms were competed based on the procedures, noting that FAMBA Consultancy and Associates emerged the most responsive and the service was contracted to them.
He concluded by saying that the report would go a long way in determining the sustainability of the project impact and solving the problems of many Gambian farmers.
Meanwhile, the GEAPP Monitoring and Evaluation Officer, Madam Yassin Khan Jallow, gave an overview of the project.