Women working at the Banjulinding horticultural garden have expressed their concerns regarding the high cost of electricity, lack of water and markets for their produce. The women gardeners made these complaints when this reporter visited the garden over the weekend.
The gardeners complained that getting electricity from a cash power meter is not encouraging them in their work as it is too expensive to run a garden with such a high cost of electricity.
They also lamented the high cost of fertilizer and seeds which, according to them, they have to pay for at the end of every harvest.
Fatou Camara, a gardener, explained to this reporter that at the garden they have an arrangement in which five women join together to work on a plot. She said each plot consists of twenty beds. She explained that they pay the Chinese assisting them D20,000 for the cost of fertilizer and seeds. She said each of the groups pays D4.00 per plant, D2000 for the tarpaulin and D6000 for water.
Another woman gardener talked about the lack of markets for their produce as it affects their sales and income. She noted that every one of them resort entirely on the Serrekunda market to their detriment. They lamented that a glut in the market the prices of their produce depreciates, especially at this time of the year. She said a basket of tomato sells for D700 during the rainy season but as at now she said it is sold for only D300 while their cost including transportation remain the same.
This reporter was informed by these women that they would want a discussion to be initiated with woman head of the garden. This reporter visited her house but was informed by a family member that she had travelled. An interview will be arranged as soon as one learns of her return.