At least 200 hundred kilometres from Basse, the regional capital of Upper River Region (URR), is Sare Alpha. It is a traditional agrarian village, like many other communities in the region and in The Gambia as a whole.
At the village, the main preoccupation of all is subsistence farming.
Since the formation of the village, at least 200 years ago, they have been alternatively farming on the same piece of land using the same traditional farming methods and with little modification on the materials used. The harvest has almost been the same year in, year out.
But unlike some other traditional communities, the villagers of Sare Alpha are receptive to change, change for the better. At the first visit of the officials of the Nema project and at the introduction of the concept of Farmer Field School (FFS), the villager jumped at it.
‘Nema’, is a Mandinka word adopted as the name of an International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD)-financed project in The Gambia. The seven-year project is designed to reduce the poverty of rural women and youth with the objective of increasing income by improving rice and vegetable productivities.