The Gambian women are noted for their interest in the agricultural sector. They grow rice, vegetables and market various types of fruits. However, the Gambian woman has always suffered from very serious financial lapses and lack of markets for their products. For more than 30 years, in the village of Sintet, village women have been growing a variety of vegetables but many vegetables are destroyed by animals due to a lack of fencing of their community gardens.
In addition, the produce from the garden are also poorly marketed due to a lack of storage facilities. HI has begun working with the village women and with support from their families has installed a chain like barbwire fences around the three communal gardens in the village to prevent animals from destroying their produce. HI has also donated garden seeds to the women of Sintet to support them with their vegetable gardening and dug wells in one of the gardens with water problems.
HI has also purchased a milling machine for the village because previously women were travelling several kilometers to mill their grains in neighboring villages. A modest fee is charged for the use of the milling machine and any income from the garden and the milling machine are used for the maintenance of the machine and other financial problems that the village women may face. An estimated 1200 women work in the three gardens.
Another village that has received support from HI is Pakalinding village. The village of Pakalinding is not too far from the regional capital, Mansakonko, and has suffered for many years from major floods, making it dangerous and sometimes impossible for the women to reach their farms. HI, in association with the village leaders, financed the construction of better road access to the rice field ensuring that the women of Pakalinding village can now reach their rice fields without any difficulties.