Mamadou Ciss, current Executive Secretary of APROVAG, celebrated his first 1,5 year as coordinator of the Association des PROducteurs de la VAllée fleuve de la Gambie (Gambia River Valley Producers’ Association). We decided to interview him to hear a direct account from the new coordinator of the banana producers’ organisation and a key figure in the project.
Rikolto has worked with APROVAG since 2007. The journey has not always been smooth but, despite the difficulties, significant progress has been made. These changes pose new challenges that Mamadou is ready to face.
Mr Ciss, you started working for APROVAG in September 2017, could you tell us a positive story that you remember especially since your arrival?
I’m not going to tell you the story of one event but of the role that women have played and still play in this project. Since my arrival I have noticed (and the technicians have confirmed), that the best bunches of bananas are obtained with women and elderly people. Women are best at applying agricultural best practice and packaging best practice.
Furthermore, their fighting spirit and their commitment to the project give me great courage. Since my first day, they have constantly supported me. When I feel discouraged, they reassure me - even if the project is ambitious, they are on my side and prepared to do their best.