As FRB’s multi-phase micro-gardening program in The Gambia comes to a close, participants will be able to carry on confidently with the help of a program-trained Private Service Provider (PSP). The program’s overall goal has been to enhance and sustain the livelihoods of at-risk people in peri-urban and urban areas of The Gambia by promoting soilless, organic, tabletop vegetable production using local resources.
Participants (unemployed women and youths, people living with HIV/AIDS or disabilities, and school feeding programs) received free technical supervision. These beneficiaries can now choose to remain in contact with a trained PSP who, as part of the sustainability of the project, has received training to take over the role of technical support as a small business, charging the micro-garden implementers for his support.
Local partner Concern Universal will back him for a period in order to make sure his business is a success and that the participants have technical assistance when needed for their continued success. The process has already worked for a number of individuals who have requested his technical advice and help in maintaining their tables and obtaining inputs.
A majority of participants, interviewed about their experiences with hydroponic or organic-substrate table gardens, said they would like to use the technology in the future in home gardens for subsistence. Twenty percent plan to turn the activity into a business.