FAO, BCC Poise to Put Greener Cities Initiative to Reality

FAO, BCC Poise to Put Greener Cities Initiative to Reality

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The Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO) in collaboration with the Ministry of Agriculture and the Banjul City Council (BCC) have recently concluded a four-day training for women in Banjul on micro gardening, dubbed Greener City Initiative.

The initiative, which was first born in the city of Milan in Italy, is meant to address food and nutrition security in the urban settlements, whereas boosting their economic status as well.

At the final day of the training, Dr. Mustapha Ceesay, an agronomist at the FAO, said the idea was to create space in urban areas for agricultural production, as there is always completion of land for domestic and agriculture use in the urban centres, noting that it’s domestic that always wins.

“So now, with the Greener City Initiative, the city of Milan together with FAO and the Banjul City Council, which is a signatory to the Greener City Initiative is conducting a training for women on micro gardening,” he said.

He pointed out that micro gardens allow low income families to meet their needs for vitamins and minerals among a host of nutrition, whereas they offer a source of extra income for the sale of small surpluses.

Dr. Ceesay added that micro gardens are highly productive and can be easily managed by everyone. He indicated that all this was meant to enhance the food security of the households, as using micro gardening could help families produce the vegetables they use in their daily meals.

He explained that the Greener City Initiative is a concept of gardening which uses little space for production. He added that it’s against this backdrop that the FAO in collaboration with the Ministry of Agriculture joined forces to train women on micro gardening.

The mayor of Banjul, Abdoulie Bah, said the initiative was a move in the right direction, as its part of the Gambian leader’s broader initiative of growth; what you eat and eat what you grow. He added that having FAO launched this initiative is important for Banjul and the Council in particular, indicating that micro gardening could help reduce expenses for the Council in some case.

He noted that micro gardening is not only about women but men as well, pointing out that men could play an important role in helping women achieve their ambitions in micro gardening. “When you say gardening, they would say there is no place for gardening, but for micro gardening, you can use it at home,” he said. For micro gardening, we can use it in the Council.”

The Banjul mayor finally indicated that micro gardening could equally be used in schools for young ones to be  involve in agriculture.

Adam Mboob, a beneficiary, said this is very important for women in Banjul, because it does not require large space to embark on it. “This is a very welcome initiative and it’s these kind of projects that we have long been around waiting,” she said. “We love this project here in Banjul, because in agriculture is not highly encouraged as a result of lack of space, but this one requires no space.”

She urged men to show collaboration with women in this initiative so that Banjul could be one of the greener cities in the world.

by Bekai Njie