By Awa B. Bah
The National Association of Food Processors on Thursday 21stDecember 2017, handed over food processing utensils to 13 women food processors at a ceremony held at the NACOFAG office in Brikama. Among the equipment handed over were sealing machines, plastic pans, sets of wooden spoons, plastic bowls and weighing machines among other items.
Mariatou Mass, president of the National Association of Food Processors commended the women food processors for their continuous commitment; that their participation in the process of advocating and lobbying resources for farmer and food processor organizations is key as it strengthens farmers both at the national and regional levels, in advancing the agenda of food security and preservation.
The utensils, she said, will go a long way in empowering women in the agricultural sector. Food processors, she said, play vital roles in ensuring marketability and reduction in loses. She urged beneficiaries to be focused and make good use of the materials allocated to them and for more women to engage in agriculture and processing. ‘‘Gambian women are known for their hard work in agricultural production because they are the major stakeholders in the attainment of household food, income and nutrition security’’, she said.
She said farmers and producers of food should be put in a stronger capacity to produce for sale in supermarkets and hotels. Markets, she said, need more organized and well packaged foods to sell to consumers. She commended NACOFAG and the National Farmers Platform for their commitment towards the advancement of women in agri. business.
Ndey Ngallan, Vice President of NAFP and a beneficiary, thanked the FAO-FFF, NACO Gambia, Farmers Platform and NACOFAG for the continuous support rendered to them; that most of their products perish as a result of inadequate processing materials and storage facilities; that the equipment received will be put into good use.