D2M worth of equipment for 4 agric centres
Monday, May 07, 2012
The Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) of the United Nations last Thursday handed over food processing equipment and items to four food market-oriented post-harvest and processing centres to be used by farmer groups to process the selected One Village One Product farm produce at a ceremony at the FAO office in Fajara.
equipment, which include maize hammer mills, rice threshers, motorised millet
threshers as well as generators and maize shellers, were procured through
funding from the Italian government Trust Fund under the Food Security through
Commercialisation of Agriculture Project (FSCA) worth over D2 million.
Security through Commercialisation of Agriculture Project is a three-year
project and one of the seven projects funded by the Italian government Trust
Fund within the West Africa Region. The
beneficiary processing centres are Njawara and Mbulum in the North Bank River
and Nyangen and Sami Madina both in CRR North. The centres will serve as
training and demonstration outlets for post-harvest techniques including
processing, storage, packaging and marketing for specific products.
the equipment, the minister of Agriculture, Solomon Owens emphasised the need
for Gambians and even non-Gambians to view agriculture as not only a source for
food but also as business. He said the development and enhancement of the
agriculture sector requires everybody’s contribution, which will in turn
contribute to national, household and individual economy.
The Agric minister noted that the FSCA project will largely contribute to the strengthening of value addition to agricultural production, while describing the sector as a potential driver of the Gambia economy. While thanking the Italian government for funding the project, Minister Owens equally used the gathering to call on the beneficiary centres to ensure responsible handling and maintenance of the equipment.
The FAO representative in The Gambia, Dr Babagana Ahmadu said the provision of the processing equipment is crucial in addressing the needs of communities, adding that the building of the processing centres and the handling of the equipment is something that will go a long way in the enhancement of the agriculture sector. “Farming is not only a source of food, but also a source of income and employment,” he told the gathering.
Ahmadu then thanked the Italian government for funding the project and challenged the beneficiary centres to ensure the maximum utilisation and maintenance of the equipment.
Speaking on behalf of the beneficiaries, Ajaratou Yama Njie from Nyangen food-processing centre acknowledged that the FSCA projects have greatly impacted on their lives since they started benefiting from it. She promised that they would ensure a careful handling and maintenance of the equipment.
Author: Amadou Jallow