GEAPP handovers D43M worth of seed stores projects to beneficiaries
Wednesday, August 22, 2012
The Gambia Emergency Agricultural Production Project (GEAPP) last week inaugurated and handover up to 23 village seed stores constructed and rehabilitated within the budget estimate of D43 million across the country under the two-year European Commission-funded project.
The establishment of the 23 seed stores is part of the Euro 5.3 million European Commission fund towards the GEAPP Project.
The project, which started some two years ago phased out on February 29, 2012, and will be substituted by the West Africa Agricultural Productivity Programme (WAAPP). It succeeded in actualising its objectives by providing farmers with agricultural inputs, ranging from power tillers to multi-crop threshers, milling machines, seeds, fertilizers and erecting 23 seed stores across the country.
The gesture is expected to eventually mark the end of the unpolished way of milling cereals, an energy draining exercise that is not only time degenerative, but results to a significant percentage of post-harvest losses. Its impact on the beneficiary communities is immense.
the kick-start of WAAPP, the top echelon of GEAPP, headed by the deputy
permanent secretary Ministry of Agriculture are embarking on a nationwide trek
to inaugurate and handover the 23 village seed stores to the beneficiary
communities in West Coast Region, Lower River Region, Central River Region,
North Bank Region and Upper River Region.
delegation, which also included other stakeholder institutions involved in
agriculture and rural development in The Gambia, is also meeting the
beneficiaries to deliver other equipment such as sprayers, store record books,
protective gears and rice milling machines purchased by the project.
Apart from providing improved rice and early millet seed, fertilizer and farm machinery to smallholder farmers and farmer groups, it has also succeeded in the procurement and distribution of 525 tons of seeds and 60, 000 bags of fertilizer to 600 villages in 10 districts across the country. It has also procured and distributed 300 power tillers to the intervention villages. The GEAPP project has also provided training to selected farmers from the beneficiary communities who were trained and certified on the use and maintenance of the machines.
The principal message to the beneficiaries at different handing over ceremonies by Sheik Tijan Sosseh, coordinator of GEAPP was premised on the need for them to use the machines to the best interest of the communities and to always prioritise their maintenance.
Alhaji Lamin Sanneh, governor of the West Coast Region thanked the beneficiary communities in his region for positively embracing the project and jealously safe-guarding the facilities provided for them.
permanent secretary at the Ministry of Agriculture, Asheme Cole, urged
beneficiaries to judiciously use the facilities for the benefit of all. While
commending the project management for what he described as significant
achievements in the two-year span of the project, DPS Cole also challenged
beneficiaries to take charge of the sustenance of the facilities.
Speaker after speaker at various inauguration ceremonies took turns to heap praises on the management of GEAPP for providing them the much-needed facilities.
before officially inaugurating the last seed store in Niumi Lamin in upper
Niumi District our reporter who accompanied the delegation spoke to the GEAPP
project coordinator on how he managed to have successfully implement the two
year GEAPP project to the expectation of target beneficiaries?
According to him, the whole success was based on the collective team work spirit they committed themselves to, and transparent and honesty. “Like the president always said all hands should be on deck for an attainable development, this is what we subscribed to and made through to this achievement farmers were telling you” said Sosseh. He continued: “We had very effective project management tools that we were used as a guide to enable us register the success we are talking about today” he said.
objective according to him, was supposed to yield positive dividend on the life
of the communities which actually had happened as was attested to by all
beneficiary communities. “The first
was to increase productivity which was evident in 2010 when we distributed the
agricultural input, seed fertiliser and agricultural machinery and we were also
able to increase yield from 1 ton per hectare to 2.8 metric tons of rice. And
the other key result of the project was the successfully construction and
rehabilitation of the 23 village seed stores which were just inaugurated. I
believed you have heard accounts of the beneficiary communities themselves of
the impact of GEAPP. The stores we build are up to standard and we have also
conducted stores sustainable management training for the beneficiary
communities” he said.
According to GEAPP boss, the Chamen and Giroba seed multiplications stores in NBR and URR respectively are also completed and the next stage is for NARI and the department of agriculture to start the seed multiplication right away. “GEAPP has put up the infrastructure to enhance staff capacity in terms of residential, storage, drying, security and an irrigation system among other things to ensure an all year-round seed production and multiplication for farmers”.
The deputy permanent secretary ministry of agriculture, Asheme Cole in his own word said: “The reaction of the beneficiary communities from the first seed store we inaugurated was just extremely exciting. It is telling us how important the project is to their life. The manifestation is that they really embraced GEAPP with hope and determination and that is really what I have seen on the ground” said DPS Cole.
Author: BY Musa Ndow