Sunday, February 2, 2014

NATC praises SDF, GTTI for building youth capacity on horticulture

NATC Youth on the farm practical work 
The Director of Njawara Agricultural Training Centre NATC in the North Bank Region, NBR has underscored the important the centre attaches to capacity development of farmers and youths on horticulture and adoption best agricultural practices. 

Mr. Mama Manneh was speaking to visiting Gambian journalists on the farm on Sunday in Njawara, to gauge the opinion of trainees that are undergoing two (2) years training on horticulture with support from Social Development Fund, SDF. 
The training was designed by Gambia Technical Training Institute, GTTI and coordinated by Njawara Agricultural training Centre. He noted that the partnership agreement between the three institutions would contribute immensely to enhance the capacity of youths and promote government quest of back to land. 
The director said the course is in line with National Training Authority NTA approved modules to ensure that they are certified in line with standardization.  He lauded National Certified Assessment, SDF and GTTI for their regular visit to assess compliances and standard of student. He said student spent 75 percent of their time on practical works, noting that it provide them the opportunity to showcase their potential and learn from one and another. 
He lauded Skill and Qualification Unit of GTTI for their recent monitoring visit, noting that it has demonstrate their commitment to the attainment quality skill transfer. NATC does periodic assessment on the modules to gauge the understanding of student on both theory and practical aspect. The director thanked SDF for providing fund and GTTI for facilitating the process of encouraging youths to bridge gaps in skills acquisitions. 
Momodou Baldeh Trainee Farm Manager on horticulture noted that the training accord them the opportunity to learn new skills on horticulture, pest & disease management and marketing concepts. He commended Njawara Agricultural training Centre for the attachment to community gardens, noting that it has enable them to share experience with vegetable growers on adoption of best agricultural practise to enhance production and productivity. 
Ousman Manneh a trainee from Brikama Kabafita in West Coast Region WCR said skills acquisition is crucial in human development and contribute to self reliance. He reiterated that the recent attachment provide them the opportunity to show case production plan on types of vegetable to ease marketing of product. He said as producer they are committed to encourage farmers to produce quality vegetable that would address the marketing challenges. 
Muhamed Baldeh Trainee Poultry Farm Manager said promoting poultry production would contribute to food diversification and enhance income and by extension nutritional development of farmers. He said poultry production creates jobs opportunity, increase income and the end products can be use as farm yard manure. He however noted that poor housing, inadequate feed, lack of vaccine and mixer of feed machine may retard poultry production. 
Alagie Ceesay of Madina Duta Wally of CRR South and Fatoumata Baldeh of Bansang town in Central River Region South applauded SDF and GTTI for their foresight in providing training opportunity for youths in horticulture. The trainees noted that horticulture production contribute to enhance income and poverty reduction. 
However female student expressed concern of land ownership and control may retard their participation and calls on SDF to support them in this area to enable them utilize their skills and boost income. The trainee calls on authorities to support them to further their skills in other tertiary institutions like Gambia College at the end of their 2 years training. 
Jariatou Jallow of Soma, Jonfolo Saho of Nyakoi Kerewan and Mariama Jammeh of Farafenni echoed similar sentiment and said the practical session on horticulture help to advocate for timely sowing, planting, proper fertilizer application, pest and disease management, weeding and turning and concept of manure tea using leguminous leaves and cow dung. 
The ladies uses the moment to call on their fellow peers to take up of agricultural skills to enhance self reliance and contribute to quality vegetable production. The trainees vow to value working on the concept of farmer cooperative society to promote information sharing and marketing.
The training covers horticulture, poultry keeping, business management, pest and disease management, nutrition, Information Technology, maths and English to enhance and maximise production and productivity.

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