and Farm Facility (FFF) has supported Forest and Farm Producer Organizations
(FFPOs) with Small Grants.
The Letters of agreements were signed on 29 August 2017 between Food and Agriculture Organization of The United Nations (FAO) FFF Programme and 3 Forest and Farm Producer Organizations namely: Upper River Region Community Forestry Association, Tumani Tenda Eco- Tourism Camp and National Association of Food Processors.
During the countersigning ceremony held at the head office of NACOFAG in Brikama, Kanimang Camara, National Facilitator for FFF- The Gambia, said that FFF Small Grants were designed to provide direct support to Forest and Farm Producer Organizations towards strengthening smallholder, women, community and indigenous people producer organizations for business/livelihoods and policy engagement.
Mr Camara disclosed that a total of Forty-two thousand, four hundred and Fifty-four United States Dollars (US$42,454.) equivalent to GMD2,022,933 is the total value of the Small Grants.
He indicated that the intended support was to enhance the capacities of local communities such that they could invest in sustainable Forest and Farm management and integrate into the market.
He disclosed that the project supported by FFF Small Grants include; income generation and sustainable forest management through Tree Nursery Management and Apiculture for Upper River Region Community Forestry Association (URCOFA); capacity enhancement on Eco Tourism Camp Management for Tumani Tenda Eco-Tourism Camp (TT Camp); and capacity development for small and medium food and beverage processors through simple technological innovations in processing for improved business and nutrition for National Association of Food Processors (NAFP).
According to the FFF National Facilitator, three other agreements were also signed on 23 February 2017 with the Ministry of Environment, Climate Change and Natural Resources (MECCNAR) in support of ANR Policy re-reviews processes and development of Strategic Plan for the Ministry.
It was also in support of the National Farmers Platform of The Gambia (NFPG); in support of Women Champion Mentoring support to FFPOs and organization of the last Monitoring and Learning (M&L); National Stakeholder meeting on the First Phase of FFF and National Coordinating Organization for Farmer Associations of The Gambia (NACOFAG); in support of Enhancing Capacities of Forest and Farm Producer Associations and their groups on Governance, Entrepreneurship and Business Development.
He declared that both letters of agreements would be terminated at the end of November 2017 in preparation of the closure of FFF First Phase.
Forest and Farm Facility is a partnership with a management team comprising staff of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED).
“It is guided by a steering committee with representatives from smallholder family forestry organisations, community forestry organisations, Indigenous People’s organisations, the international research community, business development service provider organisations, the private sector, government, and donors.”
Group Presidents of URCOFA, TT Camp and NAFP (Kemo Jawoh, Kebba Sanyang and Mariatou Mass) respectively, thanked FAO for their continuous support to Forest and Farm- Based Local Organizations in ensuring that the FFF vision is attained such that Smallholders, communities and indigenous people’s organisations have improved their livelihoods and the decision-making over forest and farm landscapes.
The direct impacts that FFF achieved in The Gambia according to Mariatou Mass, NAFP President are: smallholder, women, community and indigenous people’s groups have improved income and food security from sustainable forest and farm management.
Alieu Sowe, NACOFAG coordinator challenged the beneficiary groups to show professionalism and dedication in the implementation processes and provide timely reports based on agreed procedures and deliverables such that more FFPOs could benefit from the grants in future.
Ousainou Cham, Regional Forestry Officer of West Coast Region, delivering his closing remarks during the countersigning ceremony of the letters of agreements, emphasized the need to timely implement planned activities of the agreements.