By Awa B. Bah
The National Coordinating Organization for Farmer Associations in the Gambia, NACOFAG, recently held a daylong dialogue and consultation forum on The Gambia National Agriculture Investment Plan (GNAIP), Second Generation, at the FASDEP office in Cape Point, Bakau. The objective of the dialogue and consultation forum amongst others is to advance the role of farmer and civil society organizations on the formulation and implementation of the GNAIP processes for farmer organizations and CSOs, linking the attainment and recommendations presented during the implementations.
Alieu Sowe coordinator at NACOFAG said the meeting was timely as it availed farmers and stakeholders the opportunity to discuss the progress made in GNAIP phase one and forged a way in the second phase.
He said success stories have been made in the first phase of the Project but that there is still lot more to be tabled especially when it comes to involvement of youth farmers in the decision making processes; that GNAIP programmes are set on a five-year plan so as to help meet target opportunities of farmer organizations as apex bodies and farmers in particular; that farmers should be more committed towards achieving the desired goals in the GNAIP project.
The deputy director general at the department of agriculture, Sariang Jobarteh said the GNAIP project is all inclusive and the involvement of women and youth, is the key to advancing the potentials and opportunities in the agric. Sector; that there is no future without the involvement of young people in agriculture; that every player in the agriculture sector should be committed towards ensuring the much aimed goals before they leave office. Mr. Jobarteh assured farmers that their concerns and needs will be tabled for consideration.
Lamin S. Fadera said no country can enjoy development without having a sustainable agricultural sector to ensure food self-sufficiency; that it is high-time the Ministry of Agriculture recognize the impact of GNAIP and farmer organizations as vital players in the drive to achieving food self-security; that there is need to include young people and provide them with new opportunities to make agriculture more interesting for them.
Alhagie Basse Mboge, the president of the National Farmers Platform welcomed the idea. He urged government to be critical on the issues raised by the farmer’s apex body and come up with recommendations that will look into the welfare of farmer organizations in the Gambia.
Other speakers included Sheriff Sanyang, director of urban agriculture business, the president of livestock associations, Ebrima Jallow, Mariatou Mass the president of the national food processors.