WCR Governor Alhagie Lamin Sanneh
Thursday, March 6, 2014
Gambia: Governor Sanneh says IFAD financed project Nema to transform agriculture and improve economic empowerment
The Governor of West Coast Region-The Gambia, Alhagie Lamin Sanneh has said that the National Agricultural Land and Water Management Development Project (Nema) –International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) financed project in The Gambia has a potential to transform agriculture and improve economic empowerment for beneficiaries-Gambian women and youths.
Governor Sanneh was delivering his keynote statement at the second ‘Dialogue Forum’ organized by the Nema project from 4th to 6th March, 2014 at the Wellengara Agricultural Garden Training Centre in his own region West Coast Region (WCR).
The forum was meant for stakeholders to look at the recommendations of the last ‘Dialogue Forum’ 28th to 29th November, 2013 at the same centre in WCR; harmonizing the training manual developed by implementing partners- Department of Agriculture (DOA), Plant Protection Services (PPS), Concern Universal (CU), Gambia Horticultural Enterprises (GHE), University of The Gambia (UTG), National Women Farmers’ Association (NAWFA), and Department of Community Development.
Another area of the forum also look at the way forward for the step down trainings especially adopting an integrated approach to the past trainings conducted by implementing partner contracted by Nema project.
According to him, the project-Nema is in direct responses to the government of The Gambia’s formal request to IFAD to lead in the implementation of the Gambia National Agriculture Investment Plan (GINAP) 2011-2015.
He added that The Gambia government’s Vision’s 2020, the Millennium Development Goals (MGDs), GNIAP, and the Programme for Accelerated Growth and Employment (PAGE) all lay emphasizes on developing the Gambia’s agriculture sector for sustainable food security and poverty reduction.
“We all know that the government of The Gambia through the able leadership of His Excellency Sheikh Professor Alhagie Dr. Yahya AJJ Jammeh places food security very high in his development agenda as amply manifested by asking us to ‘Grow What We Eat and Eat What We Grow’. “He did not stop at telling us to go to the farm but also practicing what he says by farming himself and he is Gambian number one farmer recognized worldwide.”
He told his audience that Nema is one of such projects which aimed at enhancing food security and poverty reduction in The Gambia, a phenomenon regarded as a priority for the government of The Gambia.
The project, he continued, will tackle the limited productivity and economic carrying capacity of land used for farming and poverty developed domestic markets that generate very low real (cash) demand for the smallholder producers.
However, much will depend on the consolidation and sustaining of the gains the project made which without you will be a daunting task.
“Let us work as teams and not as individuals or Islands in our own domains if we really want to meet our targets in a more efficient and effective manner.”
Governor Sanneh recognized the efforts of IFAD and thanked the Ministry of Agriculture for the interest and support demonstrated throughout the development of the project as well as their continuous invaluable support up to now.
West Coast Region, Governor who told his audience that he knows Momodou Gassama whom, he said he (Governor Sanneh and Gassama) are born in the same region WCR says that “I thank the Nema project Director for his commitment and dedication towards the reliazation of the project-Nema’s goal and objectives, he gave thumb-up to the Project Director.
“I have no doubt that he project and stakeholders will work with the beneficiaries of this important project by providing the necessary technical support through an integrated and participatory manner because you have the knowledge, the skills and qualities to do so.”
His final words: “I am deeply honoured to preside over the opening ceremony of the second ‘Dialogue Forum 2014’ funded by Nema; IFAD’s continues support to national development towards agriculture.”