26 February 2013

Gambia: WAAPP Dialogues With Farmers On Way Forward

The West Africa Agricultural Productivity Programme (WAAPP) recently gathered farmers from six administrative regions in the country at the Paradise Suites Hotel to dialogue and identify their needs and challenges that continue to confront them in agricultural production, especially in the area of livestock and poultry management.

The synergy, which drew participants from the Kanifing Municiplaity, Central River, Upper River, Lower River, North Bank and West Coast Regions, availed them the platform to table their specific constraints to the WAAPP officials.

The national coordinator of WAAPP, Sheikh Tijan Sosseh, reiterated that the objective of the meeting is for farmers to identify their constraints, rank them based on priority so as to come up with tangible strategies and recommendations for remedy.

A senior lecturer at the University of The Gambia, Dr Saja Taal, and the director general of the National Agriculture Research Institute (NARI), Babou jobe, both urged farmers to make the best use of the forum by identifying their constraints and come up with recommendations for the way forward.

Concerns and recommendations

At the end of the forum, representatives from all the regions highlighted numerous concerns and recommendations for action. Among the constraints highlighted were inadequate water supply for vegetable production, and inadequate farm inputs and implements such as tractors, power tillers among others. They recommended the need for the provision of insects sprayers and training on pest management, amongst others.

Equally lamented by farmers as retarding factors to agricultural development, were salt intrusion in rice fields, poor soils due to continuous cropping, soil erosion and inadequate fertilizer, and so on.

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