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المنتدى العالمي المعني بالأمن الغذائي والتغذية

Re: Addressing water scarcity in agriculture: how can indigenous or traditional practices help?

Halimatou Baldeh
Halimatou BaldehFood Safety and Quality Authority of the GambiaGambia

''The Naturally bred rural female farmer'' is always the term that I would like to portray my farming experiences in my country and this has given me an adequate knowledge to contribute positively towards any fora that discusses auricular practices most especially within the African concept. In that case i can comfortably put forward my contributions in addressing the above Topic and go ahead to give out some few recommendations that may go a long way in addressing the issue.

In my country, the Gambia, for instance the most important and valuable naturally gifted asset that we have is fresh water. The Gambia, in West Africa is mostly surrounded by fresh water in the forms of rivers, lakes and natural canals. This ,makes agriculture one of the best income generating activity for the country. In a flash back( that is as far back as i can remember) in the late 1970s towards the early 80s the Government of the Gambia had a great chance to grow rice along the river Gambia using a simple and cheap means of water supply which to water the rice fields and this was called ''IRRIGATION''. In this system, a simple machine was used to propel water from the river to the rice fields and water was accesses using locally made canals. in that case water was available through out the dry season which made it possible for rural people of the Gambia to embark on a year round rice production. In that, the Gambia at those time was self sufficient in rice and only locally grown rice was consumed and farmers even had excess to sell to the local market.

My suggestion therefore for indigenous traditional farming practices would be for farmers to go back to the local irrigation system hence we have the river Gambia which is fresh and readily available.