By Nelson Manneh
A couple from the Netherlands, on Saturday March 30th 2019, launched a garden project worth D2.2 million, for women gardeners of Youna Village.
The Garden aims to support women gardeners and boost their earnings, in order to improve their livelihood for themselves and families.
According to project coordinator Momodou Lamin Njie, the donors spent 2.2 Million Dalasi to establish the garden which measures 57meters in length and by 58 meters width.
Isaac Mendy a native of Youna on behalf of the community said the couple have come to wipe their tears; that the project comes at a time when it is highly needed by the women of the village and nearby communities.
“They have established another source of living for us,” Mendy remarked; that the women were yearning for such, so as to get a source for their livelihoods and that of their families.
He urged beneficiaries to make good use of the opportunity by taking ownership of the garden.
Mr. Tom, one of the donors told the press that their life in the Gambia started in 2017; that they were only sponsoring two kids at the Nursery School within the Community; that after a while, they realized the need to build up something for the community to improve their living.
“In 2018, we came up with the idea of establishing a garden for the women in the community. With the support we get from Modou Lamin Njie who is our counterpart, we were able to achieve our aim,”
Tom said; that they bought a plot of land in the community, raised the fence and later sunk a bore hole to supply water for the garden. Tom said the garden is designed to complement the efforts of the women of Youna, which he said is towards striving to contribute to the welfare of their families.
Khaddy Bojang Saidy, Regional Agriculture Director for West Coast Region, said investing in women farmers and instituting policies, can close the gap in production and food self-sufficiency which she said, could yield numerous benefits. “Not only for women themselves but also for their families, communities and the entire country at large,” she highlighted.
“The Food and Agricultural Organization has estimated that if women worldwide have the same access to productive resources as men, they will increase yields on their farms by 20-30%, lifting between hundred and hundred and fifty million people out of hunger and poverty,” she stated.
Saidy said this is why African policymakers, donor governments and development partners have turned their attention to the gender gap in African Agriculture; that to narrow the gender gap, African Governments need to address key policy areas which will help empower women farmers.