GunjurBiz: Sarjo NK Darboe Farming Project
The agricultural project is in Gunjur / Gambia since December 2017. Sarjo NK Darboe already started the project from Germany. Since his return home in late March 2018, he directs the project locally. Sarjo left his homeland in 2014. His escape route went, inter alia, through the Sahara, Libya, by boat across the dangerous Mediterranean Sea to Italy, so that he reached Germany and in January 2016 Esslingen. His stay in Germany was accompanied by various adversities. So he had health problems that resulted in several hospital stays. In the summer of 2017 he was assaulted and injured in a residence in Esslingen by a Syrian roommate. Despite everything, he managed to make contacts and integrate.
Sarjo not only went to school here and learned German, but also developed his agricultural experience by helping out with a winegrower and vegetable grower as well as with a garden project that was honored by the state government of Baden-Württemberg in 2017 at the Beuren Open Air Museum. Sarjo returned to The Gambia in the spring of this year in a country that despite the change of power 2016/2017 by dictator Jammeh to the coalition government of eight parties under Adama Barrow is still considered to be very unstable. Public security is still guaranteed by troops of the West African Economic Community (ECOWAS) at the explicit request of the government. Despite economic growth of 3.5% in 2017, the country ranks 197th in terms of gross domestic product in the ranking of national economies. The gross domestic product per capita was 483 US dollars. Inflation reached 7.2% in 2016. Unemployment was almost 30% in 2017 and more than 40% among young people under the age of 24 (source for all figures: World Bank). The return of Sarjo was accompanied and fostered by the fact that his family again sought more contact with him, promised him a 10,000 sqm plot and he was married in absentia at the end of of 2017 . Sarjo began planning his return very quickly and coordinated the construction of his home from Germany. He collected many useful and helpful things from acquaintances which were shipped by container on time. After his return in late March 2018, he continued building the house. In May, a stable for small animals was added. He gains electricity from solar cells and he they can pump the water from a well. At the same time, agriculture started: at first, up to 90 palm trees had to be felled and the land fenced. Even before the beginning of the rainy season, the first fruits and vegetables were grown and the first animals were bought. At the beginning of May, the first kids were born. Currently Sarjo has about 20 goats, sheep, chickens, ducks, donkeys and dogs. He has 500 papaya, over 100 banana and orange trees each, and some coconut, avocado, watermelon and guaban plants. There are also thousands of onions and cassava, hundreds of tomatoes and cucumbers, peppers, rice and potatoes. The following things are very important to Sarjo: • respect and respect for the family before him and his achievement • Involving people in their environment: Again and again, neighbors and friends support him and thus contribute to the success of the project. Sarjo pays her and also allows several young people to attend school. For many, it is a shining example and anchor in a rural environment that is characterized by high unemployment, especially youth unemployment. It depends on his success whether others emulate him in agriculture, which can secure a survival with comparatively small resources. Even a migration to larger cities or emigration to neighboring countries or even to Europe can be counteracted. • Contacting other farmers and traders on site: At the end of July, he embarked on a multi-day tour of information exchange with other farmers in the Kombo South region. In November he went on trips to dealers in Brikama and Serekunda. His goal is to build a cooperative in order to facilitate cooperation in the future and thus to promote overall success. In October of this year, we got a personal impression of Sarjo’s project on site. We are impressed by what he has accomplished and built up in the short time. For the next few months Sarjo has the following plans: - Care of the plants during the dry season - Extension of the acreage - bringing in the first big harvest - Sale of the harvest - Expansion of electricity and water supply - Longer term expansion - Building an Ecolodge And Sarjo will be the father of a boy next year! Join us on Facebook → Sarjo NK Darboe Farming project WhatsApp→ +2207454457