The executive director of Women's Bureau has applauded the West Africa Agricultural Productivity Programme (WAAPP) for empowering women groups in the fight against poverty.
Ida Faye-Hydara made these remarks during the presentation of garden materials by the West Africa Agricultural Productivity Programme (WAAPP) to the Women's Bureau for onward transmission to some women groups engaged in vegetable production, in the Central River Region (CRR) south, at a ceremony held at Brikamaba, in Lower Fulladu West.
The World Bank funds the project in collaboration with the government of The Gambia. The distributed items include: wheel barrows, fertilizer, seeds, spades, garden forks, hand forks, rakes, watering cans, sprayers and cutlasses among others.
The beneficiary villages were: Madina Nfally, Brikamaba, Tabanabi, Sare Janko, Njoben, Faraba, Sare Babou, Sinchu Alhagie, Misira, Manneh Kunda and Boraba.
Madam Faye-Hydara noted the importance of the project, saying that it will not only improve the nutritional status of the women but also generate income for them.
She suggested for them to establish bank accounts for the sustainability of the project.
The Women's Bureau boss revealed that plans are in place for food processing and preservation for the women's produce, to avoid spoilage, and also promised to help in the area of marketing.
She finally implored on the beneficiaries to make best use of the project and to redouble their efforts in the sustainability of the project.
Speaking at the handing over ceremony, Yassin Khan, the deputy project coordinator of WAAPP, said the project is operating in 13 West African countries and it is designed to reduce hunger and poverty. According to her, the project would empower farmers in the area of groundnut, rice, maize and vegetable production and will also build the capacity of farmers.
She revealed that they selected 100 women vegetable grower groups across the country. The selected gardens, Khan added, are the ones that are established by women groups.
Khan called on the beneficiaries to make best use of the opportunity accorded them, indicating that the second phase of the project will be based on the successful implementation and sustainability of the first phase.
Lamin Jobe, the deputy director of NARI and director of research, said that the WAAPP was established to reduce hunger and poverty through empowering women. He underscored the important role women play in the attainment of food security, before urging the beneficiaries to make good use of the project.
Amie Fabureh of the Food Technology Services at the Department of Agriculture, said WAAPP is doing extremely well in the attainment of food self- sufficiency. She spoke extensively on the importance of vegetable production, noting that it can contribute immensely in hunger and poverty reduction.
The deputy governor of the region, Alhaji Malang Saibo Camara hailed WAAPP through the Women's Bureau for their efforts in the attainment of food security.
WAAPP, he reiterated, was established to complement government's efforts in the fight against hunger and poverty. He also stressed the need for capacity building for the sustainability of the project.
Camara finally advised the beneficiaries to change their attitude towards projects, saying that projects are provided to bring development.
Other speakers included the chief of Lower Fulladu, Momodou Lamin Baldeh and the outgoing chairman, Alhaji Kekuta Ceesay.