By Mustapha Jallow
Pirang women gardeners have expressed their dissatisfaction on crop losses and other damages caused by stray animals into their gardens, destroying their fields.
During a visit of the area by this reporter, women gardeners lamented that the problems they face are as a result of the negligence of goats and cattle by their owners, for failing to take proper control of their animals.
Speaking to this medium, one of the victims whose garden was destroyed by the animals, described the biggest challenges faced by them as stray animals, poor roads and lack of enough wells. She highlighted that the deforestation and the depletion of grazing areas for livestock, is also a contributing factor for animals to stray into gardens to look for fodder.
Other women who spoke to this reporter on the issue, share the same view but added that Government and all those interested in the empowerment of women, should come to their aid and help them address this and other issues such as fertilizer and water, which are key to their productivity.
In a short interview with Agriculture Minister Omar A. Jallow on the concerns of the gardeners of Pirang, he said his ministry will undertake the fencing of a lot of gardens under the NEMA, FASDEP and GCAV projects.
‘‘I will make sure that the challenges that the Pirang Gardeners are faced with, is solved”, said OJ. The Minister of Agriculture stated that the projects under his Ministry are not only supporting gardeners with fences but also with boreholes, tanks, power tillers etc. “As we speak, Sukuta garden has already been fenced together with other gardens up-country and all this is part of our modernization and transformation of the Agricultural system’’, he said.
Minister Jallow stated that fertilizer is already in the country; that they are trying to develop mechanisms of controlling this properly so that farmers for whom it is meant to benefit, will realize it.
Mr. Jallow in conclusion, advised people to focus on farming as it is another source of earning both income and survival. This, he said, is important to the lives of the people; that this is why Government has given agriculture a top priority.
Efforts were made to speak to cattle owners without success.