of National Assembly, Mariam Jack-Denton has presided over the delocalised
meeting of the Joint Parliament Committee Meeting (JCRM) of the West African
bloc, ECOWAS on agriculture, environment, water resources and rural
development/infrastructure and industrial development, health and social
The meeting was attended by participants from all the ECOWAS member countries held at a local hotel in Kololi.
Speaker Jack-Denton said the meeting on sustainable agriculture in the context of climate change is both timely and crucial, considering the fact that agricultural productivity and growth in West Africa are under threat from erratic rainfall. She told regional parliamentarians that it is essential for them to brainstorm on the prioritisation of climate –smart options and portfolios for investment with a view to providing innovative solutions to the complex and integrated goals of increasing yields, improving resilience, and promoting a low emission agricultural sector.
She said African leaders made a commitment of allocating 10% of their public expenditure budgets to agriculture, saying objectives of the Maputo Declaration was among others that target to eradicate hunger by 2025 an to reduce poverty by half by 2025 through inclusive agricultural growth and transformation.
The speaker also stated that a review of the first ECOWAS regional agricultural policy (ECOWAP) some 10 years ago has shown that majority of member countries have not fulfilled their commitments of allocating at least 10% of their national budgets towards the agriculture sector. “The Gambia is among countries within the target of the 10% budgetary allocation to agriculture as the current budget allocates 9.93% to the sector.”
This National development plan takes into account climate change in sectorial policies and strategies to improve the resilience of ecosystems, production and social systems and strengthen national capacities on climate change.