Well...after reading this diatribe from Moro Lamin Bah, do you understand what he was talking about ? or like me,being a simple soul,are totally baffled by this achedemic speak,which is a variation of politico speak well known to readers of Bantaba in Cyberspace as VERY technical language used to impress,but NOT UNDERSTOOD by anyone outside these fields, let alone the averige Gambian am I alone in this thinking ? Dear Reader please post
Wednesday, October 09, 2019
Head of Seed Quality Control and Certification Unit, National Seed Secretariat (NSS), Moro Lamin Bah, has advised rural farmers to adhere to the recommended good farming practices to ensure increased agricultural production and productivity for the achievement of food security and nutrition in The Gambia.
Addressing farmers during the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) of the United Nations and stakeholders monitoring and evaluation visit to farmers who are leading the multiplication process of the newly introduced pro-vitamin A rich crop varieties in Mamut Fana, Pacharr and Manneh Kunda in the Central River Region (CRR) South, Mr. Bah observed that some of the techniques have not been effectively observed in the agronomic practices being promoted by the agricultural extension staff which can led to low yield.
The food fortification project is funded by the European Union and called; “improving food security and nutrition in The Gambia through food fortification.” It targets to improve the nutritional and health status of vulnerable populations suffering from micronutrient deficiencies, particularly for women, girls and children in the North Bank and Central River regions, through increased consumption of micronutrient fortified foods.
Eighty percent of Gambia’s population of just over 2 million people depends on agriculture for food and cash income. The farming economy is the only means of income creation for the majority of rural families most of whom live below the poverty line.
“Poor farming practices lead to low yields and reduce income earning of farmers which can contribute to food and nutrition insecurity and poverty,” Mr. Jarju said.
Mr. Bah encouraged farmers to adopt agriculture extension service officers’ advice on proper land preparation, spacing and weeding and to ensure that the varietal traits of the newly introduced crops are maintained for increased yields and income.
With about 54% of Gambia’s land area good quality arable land (5,500 square kilometers), the country has the potential to become self-sufficient in food with even a surplus for export.
At Manneh Kunda gardens, women president, Dusu Ceesay said lack of water and proper fencing are affecting their production, with animal intrusion which is triggering major constraint for them. They made a passionate appeal for assistance to improve their plight.
Abi Jallow, head of Kambeng Kafo in Pacharr explained that she and her household of more than 30 people have been consuming the vitamin A rich orange flesh sweet potato for the past two months.
She also runs a farmer field school, noting that vines have been given to their neighbouring communities for multiplication while reiterating their commitment to the achievement of the target objective of the bio-fortification project.
Author: Amadou Jallow
This RELATED article from the World health organisation COULD help you. it is rather long so I have just posted this SNIPPET:
Biofortification is the process by which the nutrient density of food crops is increased through conventional plant breeding, and/or improved agronomic practices and/or modern biotechnology without sacrificing any characteristic that is preferred by consumers or most importantly to farmers (1). It is recognized as a nutrition-sensitive-agriculture intervention that can reduce vitamin and mineral deficiency (2). Iron-biofortification of beans, cowpea and pearl millet, zinc-biofortification of maize, rice, and wheat, and pro-vitamin A carotenoid-biofortification of cassava, maize, rice, and sweet potato are currently underway and at different stages of development (3, 4).