Sunday, December 1, 2013

LHDP income generating activities, improves rural farmers' livelihood

Small Ruminants Bani Kekoro village, URR

The Livestock and Horticulture Development Project (LHDP) aims to help small-scale rural producers, who are mainly women, to increase their incomes by improving the yield and quality of their horticultural and livestock products. The project also targets young people through the establishment of pilot gardens and market-oriented small livestock and poultry production units.

LHDP which is a co-financing project- the International Fund for Agricultural Development (  at a cost of US $8.0 million grant and the African Development Bank ( US $4.9 million and the project is directly benefiting 10,390 households from 2010-2015. The IFAD component was approved in December 2009 and was signed and launched a national level on 15th March, 2009. 

The project which provides practical support to the villager groups known as Kafoo-has today increased our income, reduce poverty and promote our small businesses and entrepreneurship in our local communities says Mrs. Fatou Kanteh President Bani Kekoro village, Upper Fulladu East in Upper River Region.

In an interview with the beneficiaries in rural regions over the weekend, Kanteh said that the villager is a beneficiary of the LHDP project on small ruminants adding that LHDP helps farmers’ to engage in income generating activities.

Underscoring the importance of LHDP, she said that the project was established to compliment government’s development agenda of food security as enshrine in many national blue prints.

“We benefitted from a lot of trainings like- knowledge on the basic concepts of small ruminant production, group management, breeding and rearing management, animal health with all these trainings, we now administer our animals,” she continued, “We’re now able to manage, harvest, dry and store and by extension make mineral leaks for our animals.”

According to Kanteh, adequate feeding is essential to realizing the potential of small ruminants to alleviate poverty among smallholder farmers noting that developing a grazing system for sheep is also very important in the feed management.

She adds: “To increase the production of small ruminants profitably, adequate feeding is recognized as the most important factor, next to health.”

LHDP, she acknowledged has contributed immensely to raising Gambian farmers awareness and understanding of best farming practices and technology to improve quality production of their products been it garden products, small ruminants or poultry.

For Aja Hata Njie President Tesito Women Kafoo in Sarakunda village, Sabach Sanjal in North Bank Region, “with LHDP trainings, our capacities has been build to an extent that we can now administer drugs, slaughter poultry birds and conduct packaging and marketing of poultry products within and outside their region.”

At the Sarakuda poultry farm, she disclosed that they have one thousand (1,000) birds’ broilers and are selling each bird at one hundred and fifty dalasi (D150.00) and calls on all sundry to patronize them by buying their birds.

Feeding 1000 Birds Sarakunda Poultry Farm, NBR

She continued, “our birds are healthy and fit for consumptions everywhere been it at hotels, restaurants, homes, parties” etc adding that broilers are birds bred and raised specially for meat production.

Feeding broiler, she stated  can be very expensive because one bag of feed 50kg is costing D1, 000 and each broiler needs to feed on 4kgs for it to weight 2kgs before been slaughter but was quick to say that the project has supply them with feeds at no cost. 

The project, she explained provides transport for them to take their already process birds LDHP outlets-Kotu and Abuko.

It could be recalled that the ban on the importation of frozen chicken legs into the country was pronounced by President Yahya AJJ Jammeh during his ‘Dialogue with the People Tour’ in June 2013 at a meeting held in Basse, Upper River Region. At a meeting attended by thousands of APRC militants, Gambian leader said that government’s decision to ban frozen chicken legs is to protect the health and welfare of the public, and to ensure that consumers get value and quality for their money.

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