Dec 24, 2012, 9:50 AM
The European Union has approved the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) Initiative Project on improving food security through crop production intensification and the school feeding programme in The Gambia to the tune of Euro 7.6 million.
The goal of the project, according to The Gambia-EU Cooperation January Edition 2013 newsletter, is to improve food security and reduce hunger in the intervention areas thereby contributing to The Gambia’s achievement of MDG 1c.
“It has two components, the first being production enhancement under the responsibility of the FAO and focusing on rice and 8 major horticultural crops in the targeted areas,” the newsletter added.
The second component, it went on, is a school feeding programme and marketing, under the responsibility of the World Food Programme (WFP), which purpose is to supply nutritious food to school children and serve as a catalyst and an incentive to farmers, targeted by the first component, to produce large quantities to be sold directly to the school feeding programme.
Noting that the project has two sets of target groups, The Gambia-EU Cooperation newsletter revealed that the targeted beneficiaries for the first component of the project comprise smallholder farmers in selected districts in The Gambia.
The project, it added, will enhance the ability of participating households to increase the productivity of their farm with the potentials of producing in excess of their consumption requirements.
“Beneficiaries for the second component include school children, farmers, producer groups and entrepreneurs engaged in processing and marketing. Beneficiaries will receive training in production, processing, value addition technologies and marketing support with the aim of developing viable and sustained markets for farm produce,” the newsletter stated.
It further stated that school-going children will receive food supplementation for dietary enrichment on a daily basis, while key actors in the school feeding programme will receive training on proper management and nutritional education.