By Aisha Tamba
United Purpose, a Gambian owned company has recently concluded a three-day seminar on pearl millet trial data analysis and culinary (palatability test) for mother trials for seven pearl millet varieties.
The forum that brought together fifty participants from Upper River Region, Lower River Region, West Coast Region and North Bank region was held at Jappineh Health Center in Jarra Central District under the theme: Reducing micro nutrition deficiencies of women and children in The Gambia through sustainable and integrated approaches food fortification.
In her opening remarks, the governor of Lower River Region, Fanta Samateh Manneh expressed delight to preside over yet another major activity in her region.
She said the most important component of the project is to train and inform farmers and commercial multipliers of the benefits of pearl millet, “As a high iron and zinc food in order to promote production.”
“This action will take a scale up approach; encourage women production with technical backstopping from NARI, UP and its partners as the driving force behind it,” she said.
Governor Samateh added: “During the last planting season, United Purpose in collaboration with its partners engaged the services of 20 carefully selected farmers in the 5 regions of the country to conduct pearl millet trials on 7 varieties. This has been rated successful and the harvests have been accomplished since and stored at the level of the various partners responsible of the trials.”
Madam Samateh also acknowledged the support of the consultant and renewed her commitment and technical support to the project.
She hailed United Purpose and their donor for funding the project.
Meanwhile, the consultant Dr Eva Weltzien said the objectives of the training is to finalize harvest evaluation of new millet varieties, learn procedure to evaluate cooking and taste properties of millet varieties, learn procedures to prepare whole grain flour of millet and use for porridge.