Union funded project Agriculture for Economic Growth being implemented by Food
and Agriculture Organisation (FOA) of the United Nations in collaboration with
National Seed Secretariat of Ministry of Agriculture Wednesday conducted 3 days
training on Principles and Procedures of Seed Certification and Quality
Assurance (PPSCQA), at the National Seed Testing Laboratory, Abuko.
The objective of the training was to bring together extension workers, seed lab technicians, seed producers and other relevant stakeholders to sensitise them adequately of their role in seed certification and quality assurance and to make them au fait with key steps relating to their call-up and adherence to the execution of their duties.
“Farmers need to be aware that poor quality seed, in the first place, gives a poor beginning for crops,” programme manager, the EU Delegation in charge of Agriculture in The Gambia, Darrell Sexstone, said
He explained that the programme aims to create growth and employment opportunities, in particular for women and youth, through improved agricultural productivity as well as access to food, while at the same time increasing most vulnerable stakeholders’ participation in value chain.
The programme, he added, is expected to mitigate migration flows to the EU. He further said the country is witnessing climate change and has identified priority adaptation measures aimed at different and critical sectors of the national economy, including agriculture.
Francis Mandy, on behalf of MoA, said that the effort of Gambia government to address shortfalls in agriculture sector has resulted into the designing of this project with the aim of creating a sustainable growth in the agriculture sector and its anticipated effect on reduction of food insecurity, malnutrition and creation of an enabling environment for improved national economy.
The Gambia is committed and fully aligned with the continental agricultural transformation agenda and has been outlined in its National Development Plan (NDP) and second Gambia National Agricultural Investment Plan (GNAIP2), how it intends to transform the agriculture and natural resource sector to a modern market-oriented commercial sector with well-integrated value chains.”
Mustapha Ceesay of FAO, said seed sector development is an important pillar of food crop production that addresses food insecurity.
“Crop seed cannot be called seed until after being certified to be so.”