The Agency for the Development of Women and Children (ADWAC) in collaboration with IMVF TEKKI FII project has recently organised a School Garden Competition for the Upper and Senior Secondary Schools in North Bank and Lower River Regions respectively.
The objective of the project in reaching out to schools is to discourage irregular migration and create employment opportunity for youths. The competition was held in Mansakonko and Kerewan Education Regional Directorates.
Mamsamba Joof Executive Director of ADWAC underscored the important of working with schools to strengthen school garden scheme and by extension promote agribusiness.
He noted that one of the key interventions of TEKKI FII in schools is to promote agribusiness as potential source of self-employment and income generation. Mr. Joof asserted that the project has provided capacity enhancement to school garden masters on production techniques and record keeping.
He described the award of prizes to schools as important which will motivate schools and enhance teaching and learning of agricultural subject.
Director Joof noted that research has shown that children between 13 to 18 years are more vulnerable to irregular migration and call on youths to make best use of the opportunities provided by government, TEKKI FII and other development partners.
Deputy Governor Kebba Darboe thanked ADWAC and IMVF TEKKI FII for complimenting government efforts and noted that the support has contributed immensely to poverty reduction. He noted that the supports to schools would boost horticultural production and promote value addition.
Evidently, he said agriculture provides self-employment, and he called on the students to take agribusiness, as a means of promoting value chain addition and poverty reduction.
The Deputy Governor quickly thanked the government for creating enabling environment for development partners and actors in strengthening service delivery.
Saloum Kinteh, Principal Education Officer for region 4 said the support would contribute to improve nutritional and income level of schools and students. He used the moment to call on students to desist from irregular migration and make best use of the opportunities provided by government and TEKKI FII.
Abdoukarim Camara, Senior Teacher of Nioro Jattaba Upper and Senior Secondary School, described the intervention as timely in revival of school garden, citing fencing, training and provision seeds and tools. He, however, launched an appeal for the rehabilitation of the school’s borehole.
Abubacar Nyabally, Principal of Tahir Upper and Senior Secondary School, called for provision of borehole for schools to enhance vegetable production and reduce high cost incurred on electricity.
Meanwhile, Ndungu Kebbeh Upper and Senior Secondary School in North Bank Region emerged winners of the regional competition whilst Kiang Karantaba Upper and Senior Secondary School crowned winner of Lower River Region. Second prizes went to Njaba Kunda Upper and Senior Secondary and Tahir Upper and Senior Secondary Schools, respectively.
All participated schools were provided with seeds, teaching textbooks and tools.
Each of the winners received:- 4 Knapsack sprayers, 2 tin of lettuce seed, 2 tin of cabbage seeds, 2 tin of onions, 10 jar covers, 10 jar glass, and 17 agricultural textbooks. And Second winners include each received knapsack sprayers 2, lettuce seed 1 tin, cabbage seeds 1 tin, onions 1 tin, jar cover 7 and textbooks 13. All schools awarded certificates of appreciation and hard work.