Following the publication of the media visit to the MDG ICModou Sallah Fatou Joof
intervention sites in The Gambia, Foroyaa will be featuring the
testimonies of beneficiaries of the EU funded and FAO implemented
‘Improving Food Security through Intensive Productivity’ Project,
starting with CRR North.Below are the testimonies of how this intervention has boosted their
productivity and improved their lives and that of their families.
Bati Yongho – a maize growing community in Upper Saloum
Samba Ceesay, Alkalo of Bati Yongho, and Madi Ceesay, a farmer, have
both indicated that the community realised improved yields in 2014
thanks to the support provided through the project. They noted that
prior to the intervention households used to exhaust their produce before
their next harvest, but that with this intervention, some households
have been consuming their 2014 produce for nearly 12 months, i.e. the
whole year.
Notwithstanding, they also indicated that the 2015 produce will be
exhausted within 9 months. They attributed this to the reduced yields
caused by heavy downpour.
Madi Ceesay thanked the government and donors for the project, noting
that it is reducing hunger and poverty in the community.
The farmers restated their resolve to sustain the Fertilizer Loan
Revolving Scheme which they have been trained on how to manage.

Sam village – a millet growing community in Upper Saloum
Modou Sallah, Alkalo of Sam, and Yaya Ndow, both said that the
intervention has greatly improved food security and the welfare of
members of the community. Mr. Sallah explained that his household only
exhausted their 2014 produce on the 15th December, 2015. He noted that
the community received 67 bags of fertilizers from the project in 2015
and that they were able to buy an extra 36 bags from the profit
generated from the 2014 loan revolving scheme.
Fatou Joof, a female farmer, said that part of the fertilizer was
given to the women for use in their garden and that has greatly
improved nutrition and income in the community.
Sainey Sallah, Secretary to the village farmer group, also hailed the
project for “increasing farmers` income and reducing food insecurity”.
He also said that they can sustain the fertilizer scheme.

Bakadagi Niani Maru – Rice Growers
Ebrima Conteh, Secretary of the Bakadagi Niani Maru Farmer Group,
described the MDG1c project as a “very important project” for The
Gambia, in general, and Niani, in particular.
‘‘It has increased yields and saved us from hunger. Prior to the
intervention, our yields were very low and most farmers used to
exhaust their produce within 3 months. But now some are consuming
their produce for a period of12 months,’ he said’
Mr. Conteh said he is feeding 37 people with his own produce.  He
attributed the gains made to the farm inputs, ploughing services and
technical support being provided by the project. He further noted that
they are developing a 1 hectare vegetable garden to improve food and
nutrition security using income generated from the sale of their

Aja Nanding Jabbie, Head of the Women Group, said they have a big
household and prior to the project, feeding was a big problem. ‘‘We
can’t feed ourselves for six months before the MDG1c intervention.
Most households consumed their 2014 produce for a period of 10 or 12
months. Food is now available for our children and our wellbeing has
been improved. I personally sold 10 bags of milled rice,’’ disclosed
Mrs Jabbie.

She however cited the late distribution of inputs, salt intrusion in
the rice fields and lack of ploughing equipment as major challenges.
She revealed that they ploughed more than 1 hectare manually in 2015.

Isatou Siilah hailed the MDG1c intervention, adding that it has
“driven poverty away”. She said her household of 45 were struggling to
survive before the coming of the project.

Sang Peter Keni, Field Officer, Post-Harvest/Business, MDG1c Project,
CRR North, noted that farmers in the region have experienced reduced
yields in 2015 due to the heavy down pour and floods. He said Bakadagi
Niani Maru is the only community in the area that has good yields in
rice in 2015.

Mr. Keni revealed that the post-harvest losses remain a huge problem.
He also disclosed that the World Food Programme is in the process of
buying 5.1tonnes of milled rice worth D122, 400 from Bakadagi Niani
Maru farmer organization for the local school feeding programme.

Dingrai millet growers in Niani district
Babucarr Khan, Amie Sey and Alimu Jallow also reported that the MDG1c
project has improved food security and their wellbeing in the community.
They however said that yields have declined in 2015 compared to 2014.
Mr. Khan explained that he bought a bull (draught animal) from the
sale of part of his produce in 2014 and the leftover was able to
sustain his household of 30 for at least 7months.