Gambia highlights virtues of family farm

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The permanent secretary, Ministry of Agriculture, Mr Sheriffo Bojang, described family farm is a means of organising agricultural, forestry, fisheries, pastoral and aquaculture production which is managed and operated by a family and predominantly reliant on family labour.

He added: “The concept of family farming covers various elements. From a sociological perspective, family farming is associated with family values, such as solidarity, continuity and commitment. In economic terms, family farming is identified with specific entrepreneurial skills, business ownership and management, choice and risk behavior, resilience and individual achievement.

“Family farming is often more than a professional occupation because it reflects a lifestyle based on beliefs and traditions about living and work.”

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According to him, The Gambia had long been involved in family farming, preserving traditional food products while contributing to a balanced diet and safe guarding the world’s agro-biodiversity and sustainable use of natural resources. 

Also speaking, the governor of Lover River Region, Salifu Puye, said the event was aimed at sensitising farmers on family farming. For him, family farm can contribute to strengthening access and security of tenure of smallholders in developing countries in general and in West Africa in particular.

Mr Mahamadou Fayinkeh, the national coordinator for family farming, noted that there has been a declining trend in family farming ‘owing to climate change and the consequences such poor environmental conditions and occurrences of hazards and disasters.

He added: “Poor marketing systems and poor farmer’s extensions ratios as well as access to land and resources also pose significant challenges to family farming. Women who contribute a large percentage of agricultural work force have limited access to land ownership and other productive resources, including technology.”

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