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Kwonku Ba community lauds FAO-AACCP life-changing intervention

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The people of Kwonkuba village in the Sandu District, Upper River Region, have spoke of the unprecedented transformations brought about by FAO’s implemented Adapting Agriculture to Climate Change Project (AACCP) in their lives, noting the substantial income, enhancing food security, and improving health and livelihoods generated through diverse agricultural interventions at the community.

The community’s gratitude towards FAO and AACCP is palpable. “We are grateful to FAO and AACCP for the intervention which brought stability and sustained income,” says Makaddy Touray, the assistant secretary. “In the past, we worked menial jobs for wealthier people just to get by. Now, we have our sources of income and can support our families better.”

The community was supported with 500 birds and other poultry products as a seed. In two years of this intervention, they have already made seven sales, generating an impressive 867,000 Dalasis cumulatively.

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The impact of AACCP is visible everywhere in Kwonkuba. As we arrived, we found community members putting the finishing touches on various projects, including a borehole for cattle tracks. Despite the warm temperatures making it unwise to restock poultry, the community has effectively managed their resources, waiting for better weather to resume. The beehives they received from the project have thrived, producing 18 liters of honey in a recent harvest, all of which sold out quickly.

The garden, a focal point of the intervention, supports 358 people, many of whom are women. Each member maintains seven beds, cultivating a variety of crops. The last harvest saw remarkable yields: 10,488 kilograms of onions, 9,000 kilograms of bitter tomatoes, 6,600 kilograms of eggplants, 12,600 kilograms of cabbages, and significant quantities of hot peppers, okra, and green leaves. The garden includes 25 reticulation and solar irrigation systems, ensuring efficient water management and resource use.

Mambureh Touray, a gardener, highlights the difference the project has made: “We no longer dig wells thanks to the reticulation system. The proceeds from the garden help pay for our children’s school fees, uniforms, and medical bills. Our health has improved significantly because we have access to fresh, organic vegetables and protein from the poultry and honey.”

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Sustainability is a key focus for the community. Each member contributes 500 Dalasis annually, accumulating 358,000 Dalasis in two years. This fund is used for maintenance, such as repairing the borehole, adding reticulation systems, and fixing leaking taps. They have also instituted laws to maintain order and harmony within the community, such as a 500 Dalasis penalty for quarrelling or fighting.

According to the community, the intervention has had a noticeable impact on their health. “Our health has improved, and fewer people need to visit the hospital,” says Jalamang Touray, another gardener. “The malaria rate has dropped, and our market has expanded with more people coming to buy our produce.”

The diversified agricultural system, which includes beekeeping, poultry farming, and gardening, has generated income and improved food security in Kwonkuba. “The training we received on food processing, honey and wax processing, and record-keeping has been invaluable,” explains Mariama Sowe. “We are now better equipped to manage our resources and sustain the project.”

The FAO and AACCP’s intervention in Kunkuba has ensured that these improvements are sustainable. The community remains grateful and committed to maintaining the gains achieved. “We thank FAO and AACCP for changing our lives,” says Makaddy. “We promise to sustain these interventions and continue to grow as a community.”

The community also received a fully functional milling machine to make it easy for women to process cereals.

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