By Fatoumatta K. Jallow
The Sukuta women gardeners highlighted the numerous constraints they are facing in their work at the garden. Prominent among are the water problem, lack of a fence, seeds, pests destroying their crops and the lack of a solar panel for the water pumps to reduce cost on cash power expenses.
They revealed these challenges on Tuesday, 24 November, 2015 when this reporter visited their garden.
According to the women gardeners, the lack of water supply is an issue which is hindering their work as the crops need water to grow. They explained that the plants need adequate watert in order not to get dry and allow for the infestation of insects. They disclosed that each of them contributes D100 every week and that they spend D500 on cash power every day.
On equipment, the gardeners explained that they do not have adequate garden implements because the meager income they earn cannot purchase them.
Commenting on seeds, they said they are the ones who buy seeds for themselves which cost D5000 for each bed and they have 24 beds. This, they went on, costs them D120, 000 every three months. “Sometimes we regain the seed money but other times we don’t because the insects destroy them,” said one of them.
They explained that they have 15 hectares garden but due to the water problem, they can only use 4 hectares at the moment.
Due to the lack of a fence, the women said animals normally enter their garden and destroy the plants.
The garden, according to them, is 30 years old now and the Sukuta women gardeners grow different kinds of vegetables such as tomatoes, garden eggs (aubergine), pepper, cabbage, amongst others.
They also complain about the lack of market outlets which often leads to spoilage of the garden produce as there are no storage facilities to preserve them when there are no sales.
They stressed the need for a storage facility to enable them keep their produce to avoid them getting rotten.