Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Community Forest Committees, others expose to entrepreneurial skill development

Rural Community forest committee, forest staff and producer groups recently conclude a four day capacity enhancement on entrepreneurial skill development, a program held at Janjanbureh regional forestry bantaba in Central River Region south.

At the opening ceremony Kanimang Camara representing the Food and Agriculture Organization FAO and also doubles as the coordinator of Forest and Farm Facility better known as triple F for Gambia and Liberia said the program was supported by FAO Banjul office.

FAO’s Banjul Office technical department is supporting the government of The Gambia with natural resources management and food security alongside agricultural development.

Mr. Camara said for the past years FAO has been supporting the forestry department in a program called national forest program facility implemented from 2009 to 2012; which registered remarkable successes.

He further pointed out that, among the key achievements include conduct of inventory of forest resources, the reviewing of the forest act of 1998 and the supported in the implementation of certain priority areas based on the national forestry action plans.

The triple F project seeks to strengthen Gambia government  efforts in three pillars  namely strengthen smallholder, women, community and indigenous people producer organizations for business/livelihood and policy engagement, catalyze multi-sectoral stakeholder policy platforms with governments at local and national levels and link local voices and learning to global arena through genuine participatory processes or communication and information sharing.

He said: Forest and Farm Facility promotes cross sectoral coordination and enhances the organization and capacity of local people for forest and farm community’s advocacy, livelihoods and sustainable landscape management.

Mr. Camara further added that, the triple Fs is a partnership between FAO, IIED and IUCN, guided by a steering committee with members affiliated with forest producer, community forestry, indigenous peoples’ organization, international research community and private sector among others.

Wassabo Darboe speaks on behalf of the governor of central river region stated that local people have strong relationship with forest and farm within forested landscapes for their livelihood. They grow, manage, harvest and process a wide range of natural resources based goods and services for subsistence use and for local, national and international markets.

“Coming together in a diverse array of traditional and formal forest and farm producer organization would help producers to create a platform to share knowledge and experience through building enterprises to increase income and wellbeing of the beneficiary communities”.

Simon Sarjo a forester based in Kudang in his welcoming remarks urged participants to be steadfast during the course of the four day intensive training on entrepreneurship skills. While challenging them to replicate whatever is learnt to their respective communities for the benefit of others who are not fortunate to attend the training.

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