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FAO hands over livestock subsector inputs to MOA

Aug 7, 2013, 10:14 AM | Article By: Abdoulie Nyockeh

African Development Bank and the Belgian Government through the FAO have provided emergency assistance to The Gambia, in response to the 2011/2012 crop failure.

The FAO on Monday handed over livestock subsector relief inputs worth over three million dalasi to the Ministry of Agriculture for onward transmission to the livestock subsector.

The items presented included livestock drugs and vaccines, poultry equipment, day old chicks and poultry feed among others.

The objectives of the support was to mitigate the impact of the food shortages on household food security and help restore the livelihood of vulnerable population that were severely affected by the extreme weather conditions.

In his welcome remarks, officer-in-charge of Animal Health and Production Services, Ebrima Sonko, thanked the FAO for their intervention.

According to him, the livestock subsector needs high attention and all hands need to be on deck to develop the sector.

“Therefore, this donation is not a small thing to the livestock subsector,” he said, adding: “It will go a long way in alleviating the standards of our poor farmers.”

He then thanked the FAO for the timely intervention and noted that it is one way of boosting farmers’ efforts as well as encouraging them to improve their productivity.

For his part, FAO Country representative Dr Amadu Babagana said that at the level of the FAO they are very delighted to be associated with the handing over of drugs and other vaccines to the livestock subsector, particularly to those community that are seriously affected.

The items will be distributed in the country, particularly to affected local poultries, he added.

The assessment carried out after the crop failure, he said,indicated that livestock in general and local poultry in particular were affected, indicating that their numbers have been diminished due to periodic outbreak of diseases and feed shortages.

The FAO is intervening with the provision of 15,000 exotic cockerels, which are meant to breed with the local chicken at the community level so they can improve their productivity in terms of bodyweight, feed conservation efficiency and resistance to diseases, he disclosed.

The support, he said further, would go a long way in relieving the economic loss the target beneficiaries experienced during the crop failure.

For his part, deputy permanent secretary at the Ministry of Agriculture, Sherifo Bojang, thanked the FAO for their continual support to the Government of The Gambia.

The donated items will go a long way in increasing farmers’ production and productivity, he said.