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Tekki-Fii commences 1 year cassava project with training for 25 out-growers

Mar 2, 2020, 12:27 PM

The European Union (EU) funded Tekki Fii – a Wolof phrase meaning ‘make it in The Gambia’ project implemented by the Deutsche Gessellschaft fur Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) has begun its one-year ‘Mass Agricultural Cassava’ Production project with a two-day training for 25 selected Cassava out-Growers, to roll out the ‘Promotion of Market Linkages for Cassava Out Growers’ in Gunjur.

The project, per the news release issued by the Cassava Productivity Scheme Project officials from their Churchill’s Town address on 12 January, 2020, would promote and popularize cassava production to the youth and women beneficiaries.

The “Mass Agricultural Cassava Productivity Project” is envisaged to link industrial users of cassava like Aspuna with six hundred (600) youth farmers in the Greater Banjul Area, Lower and Upper River regions.

The one-year project under the overall supervision of GIZ Project Management Team and in conjunction with stakeholders like the Global Youth Innovation Network Gambia Chapter (GYIN) Gambia Chapter), National Research Institute (NARI), and Department of Horticulture Services, would conduct sensitizations and mobilise youth that are interested in cassava farming in GIZ intervention sites- GBA, LRR and URR, as stated in the release.

Speaking at the official opening of the training, Mr. Mamadou Edrisa Njie, Executive Director of GYIN Gambia who also doubles as the Project Coordinator, said the role of Office in the project, among others, is to ‘properly’ coordinate its successful implementation.

Pointing out that GYIN Gambia as a youth network focuses on rural development, Njie has no doubt that with his organisation’s experiences in projects and programmes implementations, “this one-year project will successfully be implemented”.

As part of the project, the GYIN Gambia boss-cum-Project Coordinator disclosed that young farmers would be clustered and provided with training on the value chain. He added that the project would promote and popularize cassava production to the youth and women beneficiaries.

“GYIN Gambia Chapter will provide the necessary technical assistance, including mentoring and business advisory services for project beneficiaries,” declared the GYIN Gambia head, as stated in the news dispatch made available to Mansa Banko Online.

For his part, the Chief Executive Officer [CEO] of Aspuna Gambia Limited [Ltd.] Mr. Amadou Jah, assured the young farmers that his company is an agro-processing company that will provide organic fertilizer to the beneficiaries and also purchase their produce (cassava) in large quantities and process it into flour and starch.

“Aspuna involvement in this project is to help Gambian farmers stabilise cassava price and increase their income in cassava farming,” stated Jah.

The CEO informed his audience that the project would commercialise the cassava sector, and that with commercialisation, cassava farmers would increase their yield as the market is available for them, thus improving the food security situation in The Gambia.

Mr. Suwaibou Cham, Senior Private- Public Sector Expert at GIZ told participants that GIZ is providing the financial and technical support to the project. He said Aspuna’s role is to buy the cassava in huge quantity to process the cassava into high quality starch, flour, package and sell it in the country, and to regional markets as well as to export it to the European Union (EU).

The GIZ official told the participants that the organisation would cooperate with all stakeholders in the project, in ensuring that youths are fully engaged; and the essential support is provided to all stakeholders towards successful implementation of the project.