Jan 3, 2014, 11:02 AM
Stakeholders in the development of Agriculture on Thursday gathered at the NaNA conference Hall in Kanifing for a daylong terminal workshop on food security, through Commercialization of Agriculture (FSCA) project.
The event, which was attended by officials of FSCA, direct farmer beneficiaries, civil society representatives, among others, was funded by the Food and Agricultural Organization.
In his official opening statement, the deputy Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Agriculture, who is responsible for projects and programmes, Mr. Asheme Cole expressed delight at the gesture.
“We are gathered here to participate in a terminal workshop of the FSCA project which was implemented by FAO during the period of 2009 to 20012,” he said.
According to him, the project terminal meetings are important moments to review project performance and initiate a road map towards sustaining project gains.
The FSCA project is among seven regional projects implemented in The Gambia, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Mali, Senegal and Sierra Leone.
He added that the project is funded by the Italian government within the framework of the Italian special contribution to the Global Trust Fund for food security and food safety, to support the development of agriculture.
He added that in The Gambia the project, which was implemented in forty communities in the North Bank and Central River regions, was geared towards increasing food security, through the production of marketable products, value added and income-generating activities at household and community levels.
According to DPS Cole, the Ministry of Agriculture is delighted to be associated with the implementation of the FSCA project since it’s line with the overall policy direction of the government, which places food security at the helm of its development agenda.
In deputizing for the FAO country representative, Madam Mariatou Njie said, FAO’s vision of a world without hunger is one which most people are able to obtain the food they need for an active and healthy life.
She lamented that even though the world produces enough food to feed its entire over six billion people, one in eight do not get enough to eat each day.
She noted that the methodology that the FSCA project has adopted consisted of the introduction of one village one product (OVOP) known as OSOP in The Gambia.
Madam Njie recounted some of the successes registered by the PSCA project, such as establishment of four well-equipped processing centres in the country, training of beneficiary communities on business management and quality control, training of technicians and group facilitators of Farmer Field Schools and Farmer Business Schools.