Saturday, January 28

Lack of agricultural tools, a setback to women gardeners

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By Sainabou Sanneh

One of the causes of a setback to agriculture in the country according to some of the farmers has been identified as a lack of farming tools to work on the farm despite agriculture contributing the highest percentage to the country’s GDP.

Ma Nyima Sanneh, in an interview, shared her experience with this reporter saying gardening is part of her, which she started during her youth days when her parents did not enroll her in school with belief that she should stay at home to help her mother.

She disclosed that one of the obstacles that affected improvement in the agriculture sector is the lack of farming tools and fertilizers.

Ma Nyima grows vegetables but said getting fertilizers are the main problem because “having access to fertilizer is always a problem and costly.”

With the garden farm, she is grateful “because it is from what I plant in my garden that I sell to the vendors to feed my family, pay the school fees, and provide other required items for them. We plant different vegetables and even plant lettuce and cassava to help the growth.”

She reiterated that fertilizers are very expensive and they need help from the government to enable them to access fertilizers to make their farm work easier while they will be able to keep some profit.

“If fertilizers and other tools we are using on the farm remain costly we will have nothing to say or take care of our family,” she appealed.

More so, she explained that most times customers always want to buy their produce at prices suitable to them not considering their efforts or even thinking of them having income to meet their families needs.

Garden has been the only means of their income; she called for assistance from the government or any private sector to come to women gardeners’ aid, which she said they will always appreciate.

She stated that in their garden they have different age groups that come to the garden every day and are busy with their own ways of developing themselves to get used to the environment given for gardening.

Another obstacle, she identified is water saying it is very fundamental to human life so it is to the growth of the plants “it is a problem in the garden and we need assistance to get boreholes. Though we have a pool it used to dry.”

Meanwhile, she said her expectations for the New Year are big but prayed that “our problems in this country are solved and God help us to continue to maintain peace and stability not only in our garden but in the entire country because we are all Gambians.”