Members of the Public Accounts and Public Enterprises Committee (PAC/PEC) of the National Assembly Thursday visited the Radville Farms Limited at Yundum. The farm is under the Gambia Growth and Competitiveness Project for contributing immensely in improving to the livelihood of farmers who are involved in vegetable growing and mango plantation in the country.
Tamsir Manga, project coordinator of The Gambia Growth and Competiveness Project (GGCP) disclosed that the Radville Farms is part of the GGCP’s component called ‘Improving the Economic Clusters’, noting that the sub-component was funded at US$8 million and is aimed at improving the agricultural production of the country as the sector employs majority of the country’s workforce.
According to him, the component seeks to develop the capacity of farmers to become more productive and competitive and the project has a mango out-grower programme which has 315 mangoes out-grower farms in West Coast Region as a pilot project while the second phase would include the North and Central Bank regions.
Manga revealed that before the inception of the project, the income for the mango farmers per season was D3, 644 after sales, but said with the intervention of the project, the farmers’ incomes have risen to an average of D20,562, adding that marketing constraints of farmers motivated them to increase productivity.
For his part, Sulayman Mboge, coordinator of GGCP Radville Farms Project informed PAC/PEC members that the project was approved on the 20th November 2012 for a period of three years ending 31st December 2015. He added that Radville Farms pledged a total commitment of USD 1,065,277, whilst GGCP pledged a commitment of USD 640,000.
According to him, the marketing and buying season of mangoes under the agreement shall end once rains commence at the month of June/July, adding that the reason for this is during the rains they do experience a lot of issues.
Mboge further stated that challenges and constraints facing their institution are tax on all out-inputs, cartoons, packaging, chemicals and fertiliser; limitation to labour; limitation to freight; logistics of transporting to Dakar; tariffs on electricity bill agricultural and commercial rate; duty waiver; amongst others.
At the end of the programme, Sulayman Mboge presented the 2016 Waitrose Way Award Winner by Wealmoor Ltd to the Speaker of the National Assembly, Hon. Alhaji Abdoulie Bojang.
Speaker Bojang thanked Radville Farms for contributing immensely to the socio-economic development of the country, noting that it is high time for the country to make good use of the resources and empower its people.
Aji Mai Bojang, a beneficiary thanked Radville and urged them to decentralise the project to other women folks that have vegetable gardens and mango plantation.
by Aji Fatou Faal-Sonko