The eight-days training, which runs from 3rd to 10th June, 2020, is meant to roll out the ‘Promotion of Market Linkages for Cassava Out-Growers’ within eight (8) villages in West Coast Region. The training will be conducted in four batches of 30 participants.
The “Mass Agricultural Production Project” is envisaged to link industrial users of cassava like Aspuna with 600 youth farmers in the three Regions of West Coast (WCR), Lower River (LRR) and Upper River (URR).
The one-year project under the overall supervision of the 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 the Department of Horticulture Services will mobilize youths that are interested in cassava farming and link them to Aspuna, who in turn will ensure market opportunities for the 600 targeted farmers by buying their products for processing.
Mamadou Edrisa Njie, founder and executive director of GYIN Gambia said the main aim of the project is to promote and popularise cassava production amongst the youth and women farmers.
He added that GYIN Gambia’s role in the project among other things is to ‘properly’ coordinate its successful implementation. As part of the project, GYIN Gambia would cluster young farmers and provide them with training on the value chain.
Chief executive officer of Aspuna Gambia Ltd., Mr. Amadou Jah, explained that his company is an agro-processing enterprise that will purchase the produce (cassava) from the farmers in large quantities and process into starch. Aspuna is also committed to providing organic fertilizer to the beneficiaries in its general goal to help Gambian farmers stabilize cassava price and increase their income in cassava farming.
Mr. Suwaibou Cham, senior private-public sector expert at GIZ, stated that the project would commercialise the cassava sector, and that with the commercialisation, cassava farmers will increase their yield as the market is available for them, thus improving the food security situation in The Gambia.