Thursday, February 25, 2010

Women Farmers cry assistance

NEWS BANJUL, THE GAMBIA(MB)- According to reports reaching Mansa Banko revealed that Women farmers in Jarra West has called on the government, NGOs community to provide local ponds or salo that link them to their rice fields as accessibility to their rice fields is becoming impossible. In a bid to confirm the story, mansa banko send a reporter to visit the area and talked with few women farmer to throw a light to the issue, and this is what has said.
Speaking to Mrs. Fatou Camara of pakalinding said that their rice fields are natural irrigation area (tidal irrigation) once the river is at high tide the rice fields get irrigated, so for that being the case there are several ponds linking the feeder roads to the various rice fields but now become extremely difficult for one get access his/her field. According to her communities such as Karantaba, Kani kunda, Sankuya, Toniataba, Soma, and many others is all farming in the area, despite others travelled 4 to 5 km daily to their rice fields. Mrs Camara further lamented on the condition of the feeder roads, but special emphasis was laid on the conditions of the local ponds that require special attention.
According to the forty year old farmer that some decades years ago the ponds were made by bantapalas and later ladep project also intervene in a form of tesito (community work) and since the ponds worn off there has not been able to receive any assistance. She then called on government and NGOs for support, as they have harvesting their farms and transportation of the proceeds becomes the issue.
For her part, Mrs Mbaka Drammeh Saidykhan the lady councilor of Jarra Kanikunda revealed that with this rice fields alone if they have the require support( adequate farming tools and fertilizers and on time) they will not only feed their families but other regions and the issue of food insecurity will be a thing of the past. Noting that the issue of these local ponds (salo) is of paramount important as it is linking point to the rice fields. “ We carry seedlings during transplanting period or harvested product to cross via these ponds through muddy which is the most difficult thing to do when it comes farming in this area”, she added. When she was asked whether they cannot quit farming from the area and farm else where since they are facing a lot of difficulties? She responded in negative, adding that the land is very ideal for rice cultivation and the level of rampage is very minimal. She noted that as productivity is always high due to its fertility farmers are always eager improve their productivity in other to have more, since their children school fees and other wellbeing is attach to it. She used the opportunity to urge her fellow women farmers not sell their proceeds at a give away price just for a one day ceremony or for social needs that is not a priority to their daily living. Adding that considering the difficulties in farming, it will be unnecessary for one to sell all his/ her products just for a mere asobee or ceremonies, this she added that this would only threatening the realization of the poverty reduction strategic paper and the crusade to achieve food self sufficiency.

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