We grow vegetables
and support Research & Education
in The Gambia
OUR FARM AT BUSUMBALA/FARATO
THE IMPORTANCE OF AGRICULTURE
Agriculture is important to The Gambia for several reasons. Firstly, it is the main source of income and employment for the majority of the population, with small-scale subsistence farming being the most common type of agriculture practiced. Secondly, agriculture is a major contributor to the country’s economy and is responsible for a significant portion of its GDP. Lastly, agriculture is essential for the country’s food security, as the majority of the population relies on locally grown crops for their daily sustenance.
WHY IS WATER SO IMPORTANT?
Water is essential for agriculture because plants need it to grow and survive. Water is used to provide moisture for seed germination and to keep the soil hydrated for root growth. Additionally, water is required for photosynthesis, the process by which plants convert light energy into chemical energy, which is necessary for plant growth and development. Without sufficient water, plants will wilt, become stunted, and may die. Additionally, water is important for irrigation, which allows farmers to control the amount of water that plants receive and helps to increase crop yields. Overall, water is essential for the growth and survival of plants and is therefore an essential component of agriculture.
OUR NEW LOCATION AT BANJULINDING
THE NEED FOR HEALTHY SOIL
Healthy soil is important in agriculture because it supports the growth of healthy plants, which in turn provides food, fiber, and other products for humans and animals. Soil that is rich in organic matter, nutrients, and beneficial microorganisms can help to improve crop yields, resist pests and diseases, and reduce the need for chemical inputs. Additionally, healthy soil helps to regulate water flow and reduce erosion, which can protect against flooding and conserve water resources. Overall, maintaining healthy soil is essential for sustainable agriculture and ensuring the long-term productivity of farmland.
THE POWER OF THE SUN
The sun is important in agriculture because it provides the energy needed for photosynthesis, which is the process by which plants convert light energy into chemical energy. This chemical energy is stored in the form of sugars, which are used by plants as a source of food and energy. Additionally, the sun also provides the warmth that is necessary for plants to grow and reproduce. Without the sun, plants would not be able to survive, and agriculture would not be possible.
IMPROVE YOUR SOIL WITH LAVA FLOUR
Lava flour is a byproduct of volcanic activity that is rich in minerals and trace elements. In agriculture, it can be used as a soil amendment to improve soil fertility and promote plant growth. Some of the benefits of lava flour in agriculture include:
- Improving soil structure: Lava flour can help to improve the structure of soil by increasing its porosity, which allows for better water retention and aeration.
- Increasing nutrient availability: Lava flour is rich in essential minerals and trace elements, such as potassium, calcium, and magnesium, that can help to improve soil fertility and promote plant growth.
- Enhancing soil microbial activity: Lava flour can also be beneficial for soil microbial activity, which can help to improve soil health and promote plant growth.
- Improving soil pH: Lava flour can be used to adjust soil pH and make it more alkaline, which can be beneficial for certain crops.
- Natural weed control: Lava flour can also be used as a natural weed control method, as it can smother weeds and prevent them from germinating.
EXAMPLES OF ORGANIC FERTILIZERS
- Compost: Made from a variety of organic materials such as food scraps, yard waste, and animal manure, compost is an excellent source of nutrients for plants.
- Vermicompost: This is a form of compost that is made with the help of worms. The worms break down the organic matter, making the nutrients more readily available to plants.
- Manure: Animal manure, such as chicken, cow, or horse manure, can be a rich source of nutrients for plants. It should be aged and well-composted before being added to the soil.
- Green Manure: This is a crop grown specifically to be plowed back into the soil to improve its fertility. Common choices include legumes, such as cowpeas, which can fix nitrogen in the soil.
- Cover Crops: Cover crops such as sorghum and millet can help to improve soil health and fertility over time by adding organic matter and reducing erosion.
- Ash: Wood ash is a good source of potassium and can help to improve soil pH.
- Bone meal: This is a good source of phosphorus and calcium and can be used to help plants grow strong roots.
WE BELIEVE IN MECHANIZED AGRICULTURE
Mechanization in agriculture is important for a number of reasons.
- Increased efficiency: Mechanized farming equipment can significantly increase the efficiency of farming operations, allowing farmers to plant and harvest crops faster and with less labor.
- Increased productivity: The use of tractors, combine harvesters, and other equipment can also increase the overall productivity of farms by allowing for larger areas to be cultivated in a shorter period of time.
- Improving Quality: Mechanization can also improve the quality of the crops by reducing damage during planting and harvesting.
- Improving soil and crop health: mechanization can also help to improve soil health and crop health by allowing for more precise planting, better soil preparation, and more accurate application of fertilizers and pesticides.
- Reducing labor cost: Mechanization can also reduce labor costs, which can be a significant expense for farmers.
- Improved safety: In some cases, mechanization can also improve safety by reducing the need for manual labor and reducing the risk of injuries.
- Climate change: Mechanization can also be important in adapting to the challenges of climate change, particularly in terms of reducing labor costs and increasing efficiency in extreme weather conditions.
However, it’s important to note that mechanization also has some downsides such as high cost, lack of access to finance, and the need for specialized skills to operate the machines. Therefore, it’s important to weigh the costs and benefits before investing in mechanization.
Tomatoes are a good source of several vitamins and minerals, including vitamin C, vitamin K, and potassium. They also contain lycopene, an antioxidant that may help lower the risk of certain types of cancer, such as prostate cancer. Additionally, tomatoes are low in calories and high in fiber, which can help promote weight loss and support heart health. Overall, tomatoes can be a healthy addition to a well-balanced diet. Tomatoes are versatile and can be used in a variety of dishes, from salads and sandwiches to sauces and soups.
Sweet potatoes, also known as orange potatoes, are considered healthy because they are a good source of complex carbohydrates, dietary fiber, beta-carotene (a form of Vitamin A), Vitamin C, and other essential vitamins and minerals. The orange color of sweet potatoes is an indication that they contain high levels of beta-carotene, which is a powerful antioxidant that can help to boost the immune system, protect the eyes, and improve skin health. Additionally, the high fiber content of sweet potatoes can help to promote feelings of fullness and reduce the risk of certain types of cancer.
Okra is considered healthy because it is low in calories and high in nutrients. It is a good source of dietary fiber, vitamin C, vitamin K, and folate. It also contains antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds, which may help to reduce the risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease and cancer. Additionally, okra is a good source of several minerals, including calcium, potassium, and magnesium, which are important for maintaining strong bones and a healthy cardiovascular system
Onions are a healthy food because they are low in calories and high in vitamins and minerals. They are a good source of vitamin C, vitamin B6, and manganese. They also contain antioxidants that may help to reduce inflammation and lower the risk of certain diseases. Additionally, onions contain a compound called quercetin which is known to have anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer properties. Overall, adding onions to your diet is a good way to add flavor and nutrition to your meals