AELP ready for agricultural productivity
Thursday, June 12, 2008
Africa Emergency Locust Project (AELP), in their strive to mitigate the socio-economic and environmental impact of locust infestation on agricultural and live stock production, recently kicked off a distribution exercise of a brand of rice seeds, called NERICA (New Rice for Africa). In all, inhabitants of 230 villages benefited from the exercise.
In an interview with the Daily Observer, Yasin Khan, the savvy AELP monitoring and evaluation officer, said that in the frame work of emergency agricultural investment, the locust project is putting up strategies to restore the agricultural productive capacity base through the provision of compensation packages to farmers affected during the 2004 locust invasion in The Gambia; thus the NERICA distribution. According to her, the compensation package started with the distribution of vegetable seeds, fertilizer, watering cans and knapsack sprayers to 113 villages.
"Beside the 113 communities, the (AELP) project is also working with an additional 117 communities. In collaboration with the department of veterinary services, 230 villages had their small ruminant and poultry vaccinated against two "episodic" diseases. This time round, (AELP), for the past two weeks, has been on this NERICA distribution to 230 villages," she said.
Ms Khan added that this is one of the key ways through which The Gambia can enhance the attainment of food self-sufficiency. The beneficiaries, according to her, were given 50kg of NERICA seeds, each community, which is meant for seed multiplication schemes. "They are told to grow these seeds in communal farms with the aim of getting good quality seeds that would be available to all households," she explained.
She further disclosed that in two weeks time, the beneficiary communities would be supported with improved cassava cuttings and fruit trees seedlings such as mangoes, cashew and oranges.
Author: by Lamin M Dibba