By Aisha Tamba
Over 3.5 million dalasis worth of gardening materials have been handed over to the Ministry of Basic and Secondary Education to support vegetable gardening in school.
The agricultural inputs, equipment and vegetable garden maintenance supplies are targeting 25 upper basic and senior secondary schools in NBR, LRR, and URR.
The items were donated by IMVF, a Portuguese cooperation under the Tekki Fii project implemented and funded by the European Union.
The IMVF project coordinator, Joana Martin said the support to school vegetable gardens is part of the Tekki Fii programme ‘Schools for Social Cohesion’ which intends to encourage students to seize the opportunities in the rural areas of the country, namely in the agribusiness sector. Joana added that the support to the development of a vibrant vegetable garden intends to reinforce their role as spaces of learning and life skill development for Gambians.
She hoped that the contribution will change the mindset of the students and their families regarding the existing opportunities for the youth in the agribusiness sector after finishing their school.
“Each school will receive 3 sets of supplies – a total of 30 different items per school: Agriculture tools: garden forks, plastic watering cans, garden sets, shovels, rakes, cutlass, spades, hand hoes, wheelbarrows, shears, weighing scales, measuring tapes.
Agriculture inputs: tomato seeds, lettuce seeds, cabbage seeds, bitter tomatoes seeds, onion seeds, chilli pepper seeds, hot pepper seeds, carrot seeds.
Garden maintenance supplies: chain link wire, garden line, hose pipes, poles for fencing, binding wires, pickaxes, diggers, mattocks, cement, secateur,” she said.
She thanked the European Union for funding the programme and for the engagement with a safe re-opening of the schools.
“The EU, that funds the project Tekki Fii, has previously made it possible for us to deliver more than 26,000 masks to the 25 schools, an investment of over 1,1 Million dalasis. Now, the support to schools’ vegetable gardens represents an investment above 3.5 Million Dalasis. More than 16,000 students are already benefiting from the ‘schools for social cohesion’ pioneer programme,” she noted.
Schools targeted by the ‘schools for social cohesion’ programme are Region 3 – NBR: Bakalar, Fass Njaga Choi, Ndungu Kebbeh, Ngayen Sanjal, Njaba Kunda Region 4 – LRR: Keneba, Kiang Karantaba, Kwinella, Nioro Jattaba, Tahir Ahmadiyya Region 5 – CRR: Bansang, Brikamaba, Chamen, Firdawsy, Armitage, Karantaba, Kaur, Kudang, Niamina, Niani Region 6 – URR: Bakadagi, Diabugu, Kularr, Nasir Ahmadiyya Muslim, Nyakoi.