The Regional Livestock Officer for North Bank Region has described 2013 as a productive year for the Department of Livestock Services and farmers in promoting small ruminant and poultry production and capacity enhancement of frontline extension workers and farmers on adoption of best farm practice.
Momodou Darboe was speaking to reporters in Kerewan on Wednesday to gauge livestock officers' achievements and challenges towards the implementation of agricultural projects and programmes in 2013.
He lauded Livestock and Horticulture Development Project (LHDP) for its immense contribution to supporting farmers in capacity enhancement in vegetable production, poultry keeping and small ruminant production.
The NBR livestock officer said 400 farmers were trained and 21,000 day old chick broilers were distributed to the communities of Nyang Kunda, Jamagen Joka, Kerr Pateh Koreh, Jamagen Sanjal, Pallen Fula, Farafenni, Checken and Sara Kunda to enhance diversification and food security.
He commended International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and ADB for funding the project, saying it has enhanced farmers' capacity on production and productivity.
He lauded the efforts of farmers for their support and cooperation.
Commenting on infrastructure to enhance poultry production, Mr Darboe asserted that standard buildings were constructed for beneficiary communities, adding that all the sites were provided with poultry feed and vaccines.
The regional livestock officer noted that the intervention of FAO Food Security Component following the 2011 crop failure, has contributed to boost livestock and small ruminant productions.
He said 22,000 small ruminants were vaccinated against neglected disease, 74,000 heads of cattle were vaccinated against CBPP and 85,000 heads of cattle were sprayed against ticks.
The provision of 300 rice bran, groundnut cake and 275 mineral leaks also contributed to nutritional development and health status of cattle and small ruminants.
Abdou Jallow of Nyang Kunda in Sabach Sanjal and Ansumana Jammeh of Illiasa praised the LHDP for its support to women and youth in small ruminant, vegetable garden and poultry production.
The farmers said the construction of standard poultry house and feed has greatly increased production and boosted their income.
The beneficiary representative said the support by the LHDP with funding from IFAD and ADB has enhanced income and contributed to reduction of youth migration to urban areas and increased income.