Upper River Region, 23rd November 2019 – Members of the community horticultural garden in Nema Fass saved a staggering amount of over three million dalasis at the end of the first seasonal harvest, President Adama Barrow was told during a visit there on the fourth day of the ongoing President’s Meet the People tour.
President Barrow expressed excitement and admiration for the group’s ability to save up such a colossal sum in one season, following a thorough engagement with the gardeners.
While encouraging them to continue working hard and not rest on their laurels, the president promised that his cabinet will initiate new value addition mechanisms to enable producers control the market price.
The Fass vegetable garden in Central River Region North is 4 hectares with a membership of 81 men and 276 women. Each member owns 5 beds of 1m x 10m. It is supported by FASDEP to ensure all year round reliable water supply for sustainable vegetable production.
According to a women’s representative, they need more modern farming equipment and mechanical technologies such sprinklers to ease manual labour as well as marketing and storage facilities. The president was briefed about how the local gardeners are using information technology to access market information about prices in urban areas.
Agriculture Minister told reporters at the garden that the Nema Fass model of gardening was designed to ensure sustainability in providing solid fencing and water resources. She revealed the government, through her Ministry, is working with potential investors to open regular markets for the gardeners.
Revitalizing mix farming centers
Connecting to Kaur from Sabach Sanjal, President Barrow made a brief stop to inspect ongoing works at a Mix Farming Center in Ngain Sanjal.
The center is designed for capacity building for farmers in crop and vegetable production, animal husbandry, research, and development, plus other agricultural best practices.
The president was told that the facility, which is 100% funded by The Gambia Government and being constructed by Gambian contractors, will be fully completed in March 2020.
It is the latest initiative of the government to spur agricultural growth and support the attainment of food security by educating the farmer folks on modern best practices.