Monday, June 17, 2024

Gikay Farms boosting agriculture through modernized farming to increase production

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By Dawda Baldeh

For many years, Gambians have relied on traditional farming methods, cultivating crops primarily for consumption and not leveraging modern technologies to create income for sustainable living.

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Recently, The Fatu Network visited Gikay Farms in the Kombo East District, where agricultural production has been greatly enhanced through modern farming techniques.

These advanced methods are contributing to a significant reduction in subsistence farming, paving the way for commercial agriculture to thrive. This transition has led to increased crop yields and productivity, facilitating the production of food on a larger scale and creating opportunities for export.

Muhammed Jawara operates Gikay Farms, which focuses on mechanical agriculture.

“This country has a lot of potential and one of the areas that are untapped is agriculture that Gambians whether young or old, male or female need to venture into,” Jawara said.

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Muhammed owned 34 hectares of land dedicated to diverse agricultural practices. The agricultural sector is crucial for creating jobs, combating food scarcity, and generating income, as seen in developed nations where it forms the cornerstone of development.

Muhammed, a young Gambian from the diaspora, returned home to delve into mechanical agriculture, seeking to rejuvenate the industry with varied farming techniques.

“It is extremely important to mechanize agriculture if you want to invest in it whether small or large scale because it makes your work easier and gives you better yields,” he said.

Despite the size of his farm, an irrigation system has been installed at Gikay Farms to enable the free floor of water to boost production. At Gikay Farms, various crops are cultivated in synchronized harvesting to efficiently meet the demands of their customers.

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“We have different varieties of onions and okra to meet the needs of our different customers,” he added.

Muhammed demonstrates his passion for agriculture by hiring experts in the field to enhance productivity on the farm.

“I hired the experts to help do the job because I am not an expert. I just have the passion and invest in it,” he explained.

Despite common stereotypes that regard agriculture as a poor man’s business, Muhammed encourages young individuals to engage in agriculture for wealth creation and a decent life.

“People think agriculture is a business for the poor but what they fail to understand is that agriculture is a rewarding business. It may cost you four hundred thousand dalasis to cultivate a hectare of onions, but you can get over one to two million dalasis out of that,” he said.

Agriculture, an essential practice for sustaining human life and generating economic profit, requires a combination of creativity, imagination, and skill – all integrated with modern production methods and advanced technologies.

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