By Awa B. Bah
The National Association of Food Processors on Thursday 21st September 2017, conveyed a two-day practical training for women farmers on food processing, in Mansakonko, Lower River Region. The training was aimed at building the capacities of women in the production and marketing of their agricultural produce.
Mariatou Mass, the President of the National Food Processors, commended the FAO for their continuous support to her association. She remarked that FAO ‘s participation in the process of advocating and lobbying for resources for farmer organizations is very important in strengthening farmers both at the national and regional levels.
The training she said, will go a long way in empowering them in the agricultural sector as it is the richest sector of the world. Food processors she said, are not playing enough roles to ensure high marketability. She urged participants to focus and make good use of the resource persons.
Representing the President of the National Farmer’s Platform, was Mai Sima Sonko. Mrs. Sonko extended appreciation to their partners and thanked the participants for their attendance; that their attendance is important in their daily agriculture businesses. She reminded them that not everybody can work in government offices, but they in the agriculture sector, can earn more than what government workers earn.
The training she said will help participants develop a strong road map to organize better themselves on the steps to be applied in processing as most of the country’s producers and processors are fully involved in production and marketing but that processing remains a big challenge.
Bakoto Jobe, the president of the National Coordinating Organisation for Framer Associations women’s wing in her remarks, called for more women to engage in agriculture and the processing sector as they are key players in the sector. Gambian women she remarked, are known for their hard work in the agriculture sector as they grow vegetables to feed the nation.
She said farmers and producers of food, should be more capacitated in their production for sale in markets and hotels. Markets she said, need more organized and well packaged food to sell out to consumers. She commended the NACOFAG and NFP leadership for their commitment towards the advancement of women in agribusiness.
Ndaye Ngallan on behalf of the participants, thanked the organizers for coming up with such training for them. Ngallan explained that most of their produce gets perished as a result of lack of knowledge in processing, preservation and storage. She assured them that the knowledge gained will be put into effective use.