3-year agro-ecology project to help thousands of farmers

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By Olimatou Coker

A UK charity organisation ActionAid International The Gambia, has completed the first training of a 3-year project on promoting agro ecology and ecological restoration.
In partnership with Njawara Agricultural Training Centre, NATC the charity secured funding from the European Union to implement the project titled ‘Promoting Agro-ecology and eco restoration practices in Southern Central River and North Bank Regions of The Gambia.’
The 36-month project will cost about 824,615.00 euros and will cover 30 communities from the Lower/ Upper Badibou, Jokadou, Upper Nuimi, Niamina East, Niamina West and Niamina Dankunku Districts, respectively.
The main objective of the project is to contribute to job creation and food security for women and youth from 30 villages through agro-ecology and resilience building in southern Central River Region (C

The UK charity as part of the startup activities, conducted a training of trainers, ToT for project beneficiary communities on Participatory Vulnerability Analysis, (PVA) from 11th – 12th February.
The ToT reached 30 participants of whom 90% were women and other youths from 30 different communities.
“The training will be followed by community analysis on vulnerabilities, hazard mapping and ranking occurrences of disasters, and resource mapping with proposed actions for advocacy and campaign,” Badara Jobe, who spoke on behalf of the director of NTAC, said in his welcoming remarks.

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According to him, the training will help farmers understand “better innovative farming and coping systems in light of climate change.”
Foday Kanyi – programme specialist at ActionAid, said the project seeks to scale up adaptive capacities of women and youth on sustainable agriculture and climate change through agro-ecology and resilience practices and eco-restoration.
“One thousand, eight hundred and sixty people (women and youth) will benefit directly from the project and by extension 32, 137 people will benefit indirectly,” Kanyi disclosed.
He said the initiative will support farmers with livelihood schemes and production inputs that will enhance their adaptive and innovative skills in the light of climate change.
“Some of the communities will also benefit from upland conservation to control erosion and enhance soil fertility,” he added.

He went on to say that the impact of climate change, “brings about hazards that affect lives and livelihood and the environment,” telling farmers that “networking with relevant stakeholders on the implementation of the project at both local and national level is paramount for sustainability.”

The two-day PVA training involved demonstration and practical use of participatory tools such as vulnerability map, resource map, venn diagraming, seasonal calendar, historical timeline, hazard mapping etcetera.
At the end of the training, the participants expressed appreciation and said their “skills and knowledge have improved.”
Now, it is expected that they will be able to facilitate vulnerability analysis in their respective communities.

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