Aug 2, 2013, 10:04 AM
In his launching statement, Yankuba Sawo, who represented the FAO country representative at the function, said the FFF project is an important initiative, which FAO supports, to help in the building of the country’s forest and ecosystem.
“We cannot have good agricultural production and productivity without having healthy forest cover,” he said. “Good environment means having good forest in our midst.”
He said the project team worked very hard to realize the development and launching of the website.
“I think this is very important information sharing and is a platform that farmers can use to reach their counterparts in other parts of the country and beyond,” he said
He challenged the NFPG to adopt best practices through sharing information, as well as adopt and implement good ideas from outside.
For his part, the National Facilitator for FFF, Kanimang Camara, said FFF was launched in The Gambia in 2013.
“Since the launching of the FFF in The Gambia we’ve been working on key pillars of support and one of the key pillars of FFF is ensuring that farmers’ voice is heard at all levels,” he said. “The second pillar is ensuring that government cross sectorial coordination is nurtured and supported.”
According to Mr Camara, the rationale behind creating the website is to ensure there is linkage between farmers themselves and linkage between farmers and producers, as well as linkage between farmers and other actors along the chain.
“FFF with the support of key partners, like IUCN (International Union for the Conservation of Nature) and FAO, since early 2014 we have concluded a letter of agreement with the farmers and one of the key activities under this agreement is supporting them with webpage designing, and also setting up this webpage alongside training of key executive members to maintain the webpage. These are key aspects of our communication plan for ensuring that farmers’ voices are heard.”
‘We have seen that farmers are facing difficulty in marketing and it is a key constraint, and one of the key activities of FFF is creating linkages between those producers and key actors along the chain. This webpage should serve as a platform for information sharing even where products are available.”
In his welcome remarks, the president of The National Farmers Platform the Gambia (NFPG), Alagie Bassi Mboge, thanked FAO for supporting farmers through the FFF programme and the development of a website.
“We have benefited from the signing of an agreement for the implementation of programs for producer groups,” he said.
“We cannot talk about the Forest and Farm Facility without reflecting on the key roles carried by NACO and the Country Facilitator Kanimang Camara for guiding the whole process of implementation of the facility in The Gambia.”
He added: “We as the NFP owe him a lot of gratitude as well as you the members and partners to the platform.”