Sunday, March 11, 2012

Gambia: Fish Farmers Highlight Progress in Aquaculture By Lamin Sm Jawo

The Fish Farmers Association for Sustainable Aquaculture in the Central River Region on Thursday met the region's governor to highlight their activities, especially the harvest they made at a fish pond in Jahally agricultural field.

The team, led to the Office of the Governor by the president of the association, Baboucarr Kanteh, discussed various poverty reduction issues with Governor Alhaji Ganyie Touray. Speaking at the briefing, the president of the association, Baboucarr Kanteh, applauded the governor for his unflinching support accorded to their association, citing his numerous visits to their pond as an indication of his support.

Kanteh explained that his association aimed, among other things to reduce poverty through income generating activities, combat illegal migration, as well as eradicating hunger. He then used the opportunity to thank stakeholders like the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation, the Taiwanese Technical Mission, and Fisheries Department under the Ministry of Fisheries, Water Resources and National Assembly Matters for their relentless support in establishing the fish pond.

The secretary general of the association, Omar Sambou, said the body was established in March 2008 with few members, noting that now the membership base has increased to 150 in 18 villages across the region. He further explained that they do different types of fish farming such as catfish, tilapia, amongst others. The Fish Farmers Association's SG underscored the importance of aquaculture, noting that it is one farming activity that can contribute immensely to poverty reduction efforts. He then challenged the youth in the region to venture into aquaculture for self-reliance.

Responding to the remarks made by the association members,Governor Touray commended the fish farmers for their sense of hard work, as well as responding positively to the clarion call made by the Gambian leader for the citizenry to go back to the land. He asserted that the establishment of the fish pond in the area will go a long way in reducing the scarcity of fish in the market. While assuring his office's continuous support to the fish farmers, Governor Touray challenged the youth to involve in such noble ventures.

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