Monday, January 21, 2013

Consider plight of farmers, ensure their livelihoods are improved - LRR Governor tells IFAD-funded project

Photo Credit: IFAD-Afrique

The governor of Lower River Region, LRR, Lamin D. Darboe has challenge the Participatory Integrated Watershed Management Project (PIWAMP) to consider the plight of the farmers and ensure that their livelihoods are improved.

The PIWAMP concluded a three-day (14 -16 Jan. 2013) annual stakeholder’s consultative forum held at the Agricultural Rural Farmer Training Centre in Jenoi, LRR.

A forum, Mr Darboe said is geared towards reducing poverty through maximization of crop productivity to enhanced house hold food security for the Gambian people. 

He urges participants to identify the short comings and come up with tangible solutions to address them. 

The PIWAMP-organised forum was attended by about 110 participants including agricultural extension workers, with an objective to review PIWAMP’s 2012 project activities, constrains and achievements.

It was also meant to strike a way forward to addressing some of the constraints faced by farmers and how to maximize agricultural productivity.

Falalo Touray, deputy director general of agriculture challenged agricultural extension workers to remain committed. He said they must ensure agriculture is well improved to meet the demands of an increasing population.

Momodou Lamin Gassama, project coordinator PIWAMP, said the International Fund forAgricultural Development, IFAD-funded project was formulated to integrate all major players on the ground for sustainable use of “our land resources” to overcome poverty and achieve household food security.

PIWAMP project, which succeeded the Lowland Agricultural Development Project (1997 – 2005) as a development strategy of the lowland ecologies is aimed at increasing rice production and household food security in The Gambia.

The PIWAMP project, phasing-out in 2013, registered successes in the areas of capacity building and construction of causeways and foot bridges, dykes and spillways, inter village road improvement, gully plugs and contour bunds, agro forestry, livestock watering points, development and production of village and site maps among others.

Environmental monitoring and crop data collection are two activities critical to the project implementation which has been successfully implemented by National Environmental Agency and Planning Services Unit respectively, Mr Gassama noted.

To make better impact, a sub component under the PIWAMP project called Sustainable Land Management Project (SLMP) component of the project was formulated, with key objectives of establishing the National and Regional SLM Secretariat that will harmonize and coordinate all land management issues for the first time. 

Written by Modou S. Joof

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