By Muhammed Barrow
Villagers of Felengkoto in the Jarra East District of the Lower River Region (LRR), have undergone a five day capacity building training on food processing and preservation techniques, organized by ‘Future In Our Hand’, The Gambia (FIOHTG), with forty participants drawn from the community’s women, youth and Village Development Committee (VDC) representatives.
The objective of the training is to enhance quality food production, marketing and preservation through the application of value addition in food processing techniques and adaptation, to avoid post harvest losses in a variety of locally produced crops.
According to the Program Officer of FIOHTG Mrs. Alimatou Marong, such development initiative has been conducted in about twenty-seven villages in LRR; that the concern development has been undertaken for years now. Mrs Marong said this is the best way to empower women and youth economically and reduce the burden of unemployment.
Participants indicated their satisfaction on the relevance of the practical knowledge gained from the training. According to the VDC Chairperson Ali Jallow, the importance of the training cannot be overemphasised. Jallow express thanks and applauded Mrs. Alimatou Marong for her commitment and generosity manifested during the demonstration process.
Mrs. Fatou Jawo a woman and village representative said many of the produce that needs processing and transformation is available locally; that they can also contribute amongst themselves to produce the ítems on their own.
The Youth leader of the village Salif Sowe, said the training is timely and meaningful to them as producers; that knowledge from the training will provide them with solutions for youth employment. He said FIOHTG’s intervention is a means of restraining youth in their villages where they will be able to concentrate on commercialize farming as a viable income generation source.
Some of the quality products produced during the training include groundnut cake, wonjo jam, tomato jam, pawpaw jam, water melon and banana jam etc.