Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Stakeholders brainstorm on national horticulture sector plan

Group picture stakeholders
The Ministry of Agriculture through Horticulture Services gathered stakeholders in the horticulture sector to develop the National Horticulture Sector Master Plan (NHSMP) funded the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) at TANGO conference hall 7th to 8th April, 2014.

The objectives of the NHSMP is develop dynamic National Policy document on Horticulture Sub-Sector to address the challenges and come up with a bankable project proposal for sustainable development.

Speaking at the official opening, Madam Isatou Yaboe on behalf of permanent secretary Ministry of Agriculture, she said the NHSMP premised from The Gambia National Agricultural Investment Plan 2011-2015 (GNAIP) and accelerated growth and employment PAGE. GNAIP and PAGE is the medium-term strategic plan of the Government of The Gambia towards achieving the vision for the agricultural and natural resources ANR sector and food and nutritional security in the country.

According to her, the Government of Gambia has identified horticulture as one the priority area for development adding that horticulture is an important source of income, employment and is an entry point for improving food and nutritional security in The Gambia, especially in rural areas and among women farmers.

Mansa Banko blog selected among 121 young bloggers worldwide

Discover the 30 finalists of the YoBloCo Awards! (Individual category)

121 young bloggers have been competing for the top 30 places of the YoBloCo Awards from 3rd March - 4th April 2014. During this time, the participants have actively promoted their blogs and a total of 11,422 confirmed votes were received for individual blogs.

We believe that all blogs submitted for the public evaluation (finalists and non-finalists) are of good quality and each blog shares a unique story or experience. All bloggers who took part in the competition are encouraged to keep blogging on agriculture and raise the youth voice. Best bloggers, even those who are not finalists of the competition will certainly benefit from future opportunities from CTA or other stakeholders!

Friday, April 4, 2014


The U.S. Embassy Banjul, in partnership with the American Chamber of Commerce, hosted a three-day entrepreneurship workshop in Fajara from 31 March to 2 April 2014 for 30 Gambian men and women under the age of 35. During the workshop, participants from the Young Entrepreneurs Association (YEA), Gambia Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI), Gambia Import and Export Promotion Agency (GIEPA), and the American Chamber of Commerce received hands-on training on developing product ideas and business plans.

The workshop was conducted by Mr. Juan Casimiro, a Dominican-American businessman, who has conducted entrepreneurship and leadership workshops all over the world. Mr. Casimiro motivated the youth to become community leaders, small business owners, and to create jobs in The Gambia. He also shared his own motivational stories and best practices, which helped participants develop their own ideas for products, services, and business plans. The workshop bolstered the skills of the participants to become entrepreneurs and he gave them the added confidence needed to start their own businesses.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Security Message for U.S. Citizens: Ebola Hemorrhagic Fever in Guinea April 2, 2014

 U.S. Embassy Banjul wishes to share the following information regarding the outbreak of the Ebola virus in Guinea. Guinea does not share a border with The Gambia.

As of April 1, 2014, the World Health Organization (WHO) confirmed that there were 127 suspected individuals with the Ebola virus and 83 fatalities in Guinea. While the majority of these cases were in the southeast of Guinea, far from the capital, there were twelve confirmed individuals with four fatalities in Conakry.

WHO confirmed seven suspected individuals with Ebola with two fatalities in Liberia. U.S. Embassy Freetown, Sierra Leone reports that there are no confirmed victims of Ebola in Sierra Leone, but there are individuals under investigation. There have been no confirmed individuals in Senegal, Guinea-Bissau, or The Gambia to date.

U.S. Embassy Banjul notes that: • The Guinean government has limited the sale of bats and traditional bat dishes to minimize the risk of additional cases.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

The UK-Gambia Relationship

****Why does the UK put pressure on The Gambia?

The UK and The Gambia have a long history and strong cultural and family connections bind our people together. There are over 60,000 British nationals that visit the ‘Smiling coast of Africa’ every year and they account for a large proportion of the tourism revenue received in The Gambia. In essence, we want to see The Gambia become more prosperous and as such we are serious about building a long-term partnership with The Gambia for generations ahead. We believe that this relationship should be based on mutual respect and mutual benefit.

The UK is a genuine friend of The Gambia and in any relationship there is always going to be differences of opinion. As friends of The Gambia we will always raise our concerns with The Gambian Government in order to have frank and open discussions about them. One of the UK’s key aims globally is to strengthen the global commitment to universal human rights, the rule of law, democracy and respect for all. Although each country is independent and sovereign, we all live in an interconnected and globalised world and it is in all our interests to work together to achieve our common interests.

****Why should it be a problem for The Gambia to leave the Commonwealth?

The Commonwealth is a voluntary organisation so countries can apply to join it, as well as choose to leave it if they wish to. It is unfortunate that The Gambia has left the Commonwealth family. The Commonwealth is an organisation based on shared values, which respects the independence of each member. It is inaccurate to describe it as ‘the British Commonwealth’: the UK has no privileged position or unique role in it. The Commonwealth acts in the interest of all its members, and operates by consensus. There are also many benefits from being part of the Commonwealth, for example the Gambia benefited from Commonwealth scholarships, technical assistance programmes, capacity building training and a range of development programmes. In fact for every £1 that the Gambia put into the Commonwealth over the past 5 years it got £13 back through these programmes.

Sanyang prefers briquettes to firewood

As they are committed to safe their forest

 The community of Sanyang has committed themselves in replacing the firewood and charcoal to fuel briquette from groundnutshells; introduced by GreenTech Vision, a Community Base Organisation for environmental protection, based in Kololi.

The people of the Sanyang applauded GreenTech Vision for coming with the stove and briquettes in protecting their environment and the forest,” they made this commitment during a daylong sensitization and demonstration program organised by CBO recently in Sanyang.

The project funded by the UNDP Global Environmental Facility (GEF) -Small Grants Programme (SGP), is aimed at tackling environmental challenges like deforestation, loss of biodiversity and climate change and improving livelihoods.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Gambia Should Reduce Import Bills, Use the Dalasi to Import Cars- Banky Njie

Banky Njie Nema Business Dev Officer
“We have the land – about 60 percent of our land is underutilized, we have the people resources. Now, with the number of different projects – we also have the investments, whether its Nema’a asset financing scheme, or FASDEP’s version, or Reliance standalone “Farming as a Business”.

“So the opportunities are here to transform our activities to increase production, not only to feed ourselves, but also feed the world. We should have a vision to emulate our president and heed to his clarion call – ‘eat what we grow and grow what we eat’. We should then be able to reduce our import bills and use the hard currency to import that which we cannot produce – like cars…yet!! We cannot talk about our dignity if we don’t have the ability to feed ourselves.

“Let us all believe and have a sense of pride in what we produce and get out of our mindsets that anything imported, especially from the West, is better,” said Banky Njie Business Development Officer for the International Fund for Agricultural Development, IFAD financed project in The Gambia the National Agricultural Land and Water Management Development Project (Nema)

Nema Business Development Officer was delivering a statement on the closing of the 4 day Entrepreneurship training to smallholder producers & actors in the rice & vegetable value chains at Jenoi, Thursday 13th March 2014.