Sunday, April 15, 2012

NACOFAG President Speaks To Mansabanko

Muhammed Fayenkeh, President of  National  Coordinating Farmers Organizations otherwise called NACOFAG, has spoken of his organisation preparedness to respond to the food crisis in The Gambia.
In an exlcusive interview with this Magazine at his office in Brikama, he said they would ensure the availability of quality seeds  to Gambian farmers for the next raining season.
Fayenkeh, who was speaking  to this reporter, barely three days after NACOFAG officials and Board of Directors met  with the Vice President, Dr. Aja Isatou Njie- Saidy at State House, said the visit was to inform the government about their plans to join in its in respond to the current food crises in the country.

He added that it was since September, 2011 that NACOFAG Family Farm monitoring team in the rural Gambia sent them (NACOFAG) a signal that there would be a massive crop failure in the country.
He explained that NACOFAG in addressing the food crisis, currently, had developed forms and sent them to all their family farms for detail information about their crop failure.
NACOFAG President continued: “When we collected all the forms that are sent to farmers across the country, NACOFAG, will start to negotiate with its donors to support.”
Their donors, Fayenkeh is optimistic, would respond to their calls and would support Gambian farmers in the crisis, disclosing that some of their donors are the European Union (EU), IFAD, AGRICORD, Inter Reseau, among others that are currently supportive to the farming communities in the country both in food and seeds provisions.
NACOFAG President Fayenkeh pointed out that, they have also asked their members in across the country to share any information about the crop failure, hoping that  that would make their operation easy by collecting more information.
On background information about NACOFAG, he said it is a network established in 2000 by eleven (11) national farmers and producer organisations.
The following, he stated were among the organisations that set-up  NACOFAG:National  Farmers Platform The Gambia (NFPG), National Women Farmers’ Association (NAWFA), AFET, FANDEMA, Maize Growers’, NCAFA, NFPA, Fish Smokers, Livestock Owners Association and  NAYAFs.
According to Fayenkeh, they are currently reviewing the application forms of seven organisations  that want to become members of his network.
On their achievements, he said the Family Farm concept through their regional network ROPPA ECOWASD is using their early warming tools to monitor the farming system in ECOWAS space. 
He said since 2009, they are implementing European Union/IFAD project, adding the Project  is to build the capacities of their members into various areas particularly in Good Governance, Policies formulation and  Analysis from the starting of the project to the end.
Today, through NACOFAG’s membership, national networks in the country and their regional network  ROPPA has  played a key role in revisiting some of the issues in ECOWAP, said Fayenkeh.
Logistic, he said in the interview, could be branded as their ‘major challenges’ as a network.
He used this medium to appeal to the government for assistance as they (NACOFAG) don’t  want to put too much load on their donors.
For the donors, he said they work with them in the areas of food and seed availability in all the year round in all the ‘Buntung’ in English called central stores.
For them to achieve their objectives of making food and seed available to farmers all year round, he said they need mobility, saying that none of his members has a mobility; but struggle with local transport to reach to destinations across the country.
According to Fayenkeh, during their meeting with the country’s Number two, VP Njie-Saidy, he, on behalf of his network, appealed for her Ministry to provide them with two or more double-carbin vehicles.
According to him, the GRTS of requests for  special transport whenever they want coverage in the Upper River and Central River Region North and South, adding that at NACOFAG, they have mobility constraints.

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