Jun 22, 2009, 9:44 AM
The Gambia Emergency Agricultural Production Project, one of the best projects in the country geared towards improving agricultural productivity, Tuesday donated office equipments to six NGOs and agricultural regional directorates across the country at a ceremony held at GEAPP office.
The donated items include computers, desk, and seats, filing cabinet, which were handed over to the Gambia government by the World Bank representative Dr Alieu Badara Joof, for onward presentation to the regional agricultural directorates and NGOs.
Speaking at the handing over ceremony, Mr Sheikh Tijan Sosseh, Project Coordinator GEAPP, said the donation of the office equipments was based on the fruitful collaboration during the implementation of the project activities in 2010.
He recalled that the collaboration was based on a Memorandum of Understanding signed between the project and six NGOs, noting that this was a condition based on the financing agreement of the grant that NGOs must be involved in the distribution of the inputs that were giving to farmers in the 2010 cropping season.
Sosseh revealed that the responsibility of the NGOs is to ensure transparent and accountable distribution of inputs, while that of the Directorates of Agriculture is to monitor those inputs and to give technical support to farmers so as to enhance the realization of increase yield production.
“Today, we are witnessing the handing over ceremony of office equipments in fulfillment of GEAPP’s responsibility, which among others, seeks to enhance the NGOs and the Directorates of Agriculture with logical support which GEAPP has perform exceptionally based on the MOU,” he said.
The Project Coordinator described the donation as timely, noting that it would go a long way in helping agricultural directorates in data management as without data, impact will hardly measure. “During the season, a lot of data has been collected but yet still, there are lapses in data presented. With these computers, the lapses will in one way or the other improve,” he added.
On behalf of the European Commission, World Bank and the ministry of agriculture, Sosseh commended the NGOs through TANGO for a job well done, stressing that there are few issues that needed to be map out.
He further commended the agricultural directorates for their hard work and cooperation with the project in the implementation of its activities, while soliciting for continued support.
For his part, Dr Alieu Badara Joof, World Bank representative expressed gratitude and commended the ministry of agriculture and the project coordinating unit spearheaded by Sheikh Tijan Sosseh and assisted by Yassin Khan-Jallow, monitoring and evaluation officer of the project.
According to him, it is within the context of GEAPP than an MOU was signed between the ministry of agriculture and other stakeholders so as to enable GEAPP enhance them to increase their effectiveness at the level of community development.
He stated that NGOs and the decentralized structures of the ministry of agriculture are in the front line of community development hence the need to equip them so that they are effective on the ground.
“In order to increase their development effectiveness so as to enhance development outcome, it is important that effectiveness is given to them so that they will be highly operational,” Joof said, adding that the donated equipments would go a long way in realizing that objective.
While underscoring the need to have proper data management, which he described as very essential, the World Bank representative stated that it is data that will be at the centre of planning at the end of the day.
Joof further underscored the World Bank’s resolve to continue cooperating with all stakeholders including the Gambia Government.
In handing over the equipments, Mr Asheme Cole, Deputy Permanent Secretary, ministry of agriculture commended GEAPP for its contributions towards the development of agriculture in the country.
“This is not the first time that GEAPP is doing this kind of gesture. GEAPP has been doing this all over the country and has been contributing their efforts,” he said. He commended the World Bank and the European Commission for their continuous support.
According to Cole, the importance of data at the ministry of agriculture cannot be over emphasized, noting that nothing can be achieved in agriculture without data.
He noted that the donated office materials will go a long way in not only enhancing their production capacity but also their date collection system throughout the country.
He advised the beneficiaries to put the donated materials into good use, saying that as far as the department of agriculture is concern, this would be as motivation to the staff that are in the region.
Speaking on behalf of the Director General of Agriculture, Ousman Jammeh, the regional director of agriculture in CRR South commended the donors through GEAPP for their continued support.
According to him, data collection and management is fundamental in their everyday work. He added that the donation is yet another clear indication that GEAPP is one of the best outstanding projects in the country.
Speaking on behalf of the NGOs, Mr Njaga Jawo, Executive Director of NAWFA, commended GEAPP for their support and for recognizing NGOs, which he added, are not here to compete the Government but to complement its efforts.
Mrs Yassin Khan-Jallow, monitoring and evaluation officer at GEAPP expressed delight for the participation of NGOs and regional agricultural directorates, while urging the beneficiaries to take good care of the donated materials.
While calling for more collaboration to enable GEAPP continue its support, Yassin underscored GEAPP’s resolve to always be in the forefront of agricultural development in the country.