Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Nema project training on 80 start-up businesses of women and youth on entrepreneurship

Participants at the training
The National Agricultural Land and Water Management Development Project (Nema) the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) financed project gathered 80 start-up businesses of women and youth from the 24th to 27th February, 2014 at Rural Farmers’ Agricultural Training Centre at Jenoi in Lower River Region.

The 80 start-up businesses participants are selected after the project embarked on country-wide trekking identifying potential business[s] based on demand from the beneficiaries themselves by filing Nema request forms. With the volume of participants, the training has been split into two groups 40 participants for each training session to be conducted by Concern Universal (CU).

Speaking at the official opening ceremony, Mr. Momodou Gassama Nema project director said that the Gambia government has seen IFAD’s intervention and support in the country as ‘timely’ noting that Nema project seeks to build on the achievements of IFAD’s previous projects-LADEP and PIWAMP with an added important component: Agricultural Commercialization; which seeks to graduate subsistence farming to commercialization-producing more that what we eat, to sell for profit.

According to him, this kind of training is very important for Gambian farmers citing that the government of the day under the distinguish leadership of His Excellency Sheikh Professor Alhagie Dr. Yahya AJJ Jammeh has put great emphasizes on farming- helping farmers to improved their livelihoods from commercial farming to substance farming.

He reminded farmers that Nema project is different from other projects saying that during the design of the project, Gambian farmers where not left behind; IFAD mission team, consultants [international and local], youth organizations, women groups, amongst other host of individuals were all part of the designing process.

According to him, it’s Gambian whom identifies their priorities during the consultation and designing of the project noting that Nema project will be implemented successfully.

“If you think Nema project will fail, or the project will not address the need of Gambians, you will be proven wrong in few years to come, and if you’re a failure, please don’t associate yourself in project, because the project is only looking for successful organisations and individuals.”

He pointed out that IFAD approved the highest amount of US dollars $65 millions and the government also have political will on agriculture has committed itself to counter-part financing.

“With the approach Nema project has taken to train famers to become entrepreneurs, in few years to come, The Gambia will not export food item from any European country.”

He advised Gambian youth to see the project as their saying that the project is targeting women and youth with the aims to transform the Gambian agricultural sector from simply subsistence farming to an increasingly efficient market system..

Gassama further emphasized on the importance of entrepreneurship training saying that entrepreneurship training is very crucial if we want to eradicate poverty in the country especially youth and women, through increase food production along the entire food value chains citing rice and vegetable production.

Deputy Governor Lower River Region, Momodou Njie says “I wish to thank IFAD for the continuous support that they provide to The Gambia and can assure them (IFAD) that this training amongst all the other activities of the project will see a sustainable future in Agricultural development and growth in this country,” he admitted.

Governor of LRR Njie recalls on some of the past trainings Nema project conducted in his region for farmers noting that farmers in his region has now understand farming techniques and market skills.
Regional Agricultural Director LRR, Mr. Ebrima Saidy thanked Nema project for organizing the training for farmers. This, training, he went on to explain farmers will see agriculture as business.

He commended Concern Universal for conducting successful trainings for farmers and advised them to keep up the good work.

Farmers’ are expected to cover the following topics: Definitions and concept of business, The commercial farming environment, Farm business cycle, Opportunity recognition, idea generation and how to select the best business ideas, How to start your business, The basic marketing concepts, Importance aspects of farm business, Understanding cost, What can affect farm business profit, Record keeping, What is a business record and why keep them, Market survey questionnaires, Marketing survey exercise, Financial management, and The entitle concept. 

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