The Point (Banjul)

14 December 2012

Gambia: Farmers Trained On Rice Development

The National Coordinating Organisation of Farmers Association The Gambia (NACOFAG) recently organised a training workshop for Gambian farmers across the country on rice development.

The training workshop was recently held at Brikamaba in Central River Region South at the Micro-Finance Training Centre.

The training was funded by the Participatory Integrated Watershed Management Project (PIWAMP)- IFAD project and aimed to equip the farmers on production techniques, post harvest loss on rice development in the country, strategies to improve production and seed multiplication, situation on rice agronomy, use of chemicals and its impacts a crop, amongst others.

Mahamadou Fayinkeh, president NACOFAG, spoke at length on the importance of the workshop, saying that at the end of the training, participants were expected to make recommendations that can be used to develop programmes for farmers Organisations in the country.

He thanked PIWAMP for funding the workshop, adding that PIWAMP has been at the forefront in supporting NACOFAG programmes for his network to achieve its objectives.

According to Fayinkeh, NACOFAG since its formation has been helping farmer organisations to implement their programmes, noting that they engage organisation to implement their programmes.

He called on farmer organisations to work as a team and forget the difference in their work.

He also thanked the Ministry of Agriculture, AfDB, FAO among other donor agencies operating in the country to support NACOFAG.

He called on farmers to be paying their loans on time and avoid bad debts, while urging them to make best use of their loans.

"As farmer organisations, we should not be an obstacle to our own development in implementing our projects and programmes but to complement each other's efforts," he said

Chief Momodou Lamin Baldeh of Lower Fulladou West elaborated on the point made by NACOFAG prexy advising farmers to see projects and programmes as their own.

He also spoke at length on sustainability of projects in local communities, adding, "we need to put mechanisms in place to make sure all projects implemented if phased out are sustainable," he emphasised.

Yamadou Darboe, senior agric officer representing the regional director in CRR South welcomed participants in his region.

He advised the participants to participate fully during sessions so as to report something relevant to their respective groups.

He commended PIWAMP for funding the training workshop, noting that rice cultivation is very lucrative business in the country as rice is a staple crop.

The training, he added, will have a great impact on farmers, saying knowledge to farmers on rice development is key to any farmer.

Alhagie Kekuta Ceesay, chairman of Janjanbureh Area Council, also spoke at the occasion emphasizing on the importance of the training and calling on farmers to unite and work for the development of the nation.

The workshop was chaired by Ousman M. Colley PIWAMP- SLMP field supervisor.

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