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FAO boosts oyster harvesters with fishing materials

Nov 25, 2016, 9:42 AM | Article By: Mahamadou Camara

The Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) in collaboration with the Gambia government, under the FAO Tele-Food Programme, yesterday donated fishing materials and accessories to the Try Oyster association of Kartong.

The materials included ten wooden fishing canoes, 200 life jackets, 150 boots (foot wear) and 130 hand gloves worth up to US$9,000.

The materials were meant to ease and improve oyster and cockle harvesting techniques and handling, increase production of quality and create more employment.

The Minister of Environment, Pa Ousman Jarjue, speaking on the occasion, said the provision of the fishing materials and accessories to the oyster harvesting operators, is in the right direction towards the improvement and sustenance of dependable livelihoods for continued food security and overall societal gains, in terms of improved health status and economic stability for all and sundry.

He thanked and commended FAO for their continued collaboration in complementing the government’s drive to attain food self-sufficiency, which is a top priority of the Gambia government as enshrined in President Jammeh’s Vision 2016, Vision 2020 and 2025 for food sovereignty and security for all Gambians.

‘’We commend the FAO Tele-Food Programme initiative for looking at those areas in the food supply chain where help is needed,’’ he said.

The FAO representative in The Gambia, Dr Perpetua Katepa-Kalala, in her remarks, said the donated materials would benefit about 400 members of the Try Oyster Women’s Association.

She added that under the TCP Project on the development of artisanal fisheries, the beneficiaries also benefited from a training programme in improved handling, processing and preservation methods.

She expressed confidence that the 10 canoes and other materials, combined with the dedication and hard work of the group members, would indeed increase the production of good quality oysters and cockles.

It would also greatly benefit the members, whose livelihood depends directly or indirectly on the production of oysters for their sustenance.

The FAO country representative commended the association members, especially the executive director of Try Oyster, Fatou Janha, for her dedication and hard work in ensuring that the project was completed on time.

She thanked the Gambia government for the fruitful relationship which FAO enjoys with its partners, and reaffirmed her commitment to deepening collaboration and cooperation with the government for the benefit of the country.

The Alkalo of Kartong, Demba Jabang, and one Isatou Jarjue, speaking on behalf of the beneficiaries, expressed their delight and appreciation, while describing the donation as timely to meet their dire need for improved fishing materials.

The tele-food campaign was initiated in 1997 as one of FAO’s response to the World Food Summit goals of reducing by half the proportion of people facing hunger.

Since then, over 70 projects have been funded, and every year FAO has launched new Tele-food projects in The Gambia.

Tele-food projects are an integral part of FAO’s global effort to raise awareness, and eradicate hunger and food insecurity.