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Forum seeks to establish horticulture commodity value chain innovation platform

Dec 5, 2012, 9:07 AM | Article By: Abdoulie Nyockeh

A one-day forum aimed at establishing a horticulture commodity value chain innovationplatform was on Monday held at the Model Wellingara Horticulture Centre.

Participants at the meeting included stakeholders from the West Africa Agriculture Productivity Programme (WAAP), the National Agriculture Research Institute, and farmers.

The convergence was formally established and institutionalised a more cohesive innovative platform in the horticulture value chain, process linking all actors to one another.

It was the target of the organizers to ensure that at the end of the forum, the network of actors is geared towards ensuring the best bet practices in functional innovation platform along the commodity value chain for improved income and livelihood of the population.

In his opening remarks, the deputy permanent secretary at the Ministry of Agriculture, Sherifo Bojang, hailed the organizers of the convergence for farmers within the horticulture commodity value chain.

He said establishing horticulture innovation platform is a step in the right direction as far as agriculture is concerned.

He said the Gambia government, in putting a lot of resources in supporting the farmers, of this country with the sole aim to increase enhanced agriculture production and productivity.

He also used the opportunity to commend the European Union and the Spanish government for supporting The Gambia for such a project through the World Bank.

For his part, the director general of the Department of Agriculture, Musa Huma, underscored the importance of the convergence, saying it is a forum that will accord participants the opportunity to discuss burning issues affecting their livelihood.

WAAPP country coordinator Sheikh Tijan Sosseh reiterated the importance of collective effort in ensuring sustainability of the WAAPP project.

The WAAPP project is here for the Gambian farmers, particularly for the women, which has a high share in the implementation process, he said, while calling for the establishment of horticulture innovation platform.

He also spoke on the importance of visibility in the WAAPP, saying farmers need to always be familiar with the project since donors are always eager to know how their money is being spent.

He then commended the NARI and the Department of Agriculture for their hard work in the implementation of the project, appealing to all stakeholders to come on board for effective implementation of the project.