Apr 28, 2009, 7:12 AM
The Ministry of Trade Industry and Employment recently held a day's validation workshop on the Gambia National Agricultural Investment Programme (GNAIP) Model at the Atlantic Hotel in
Speaking at the opening ceremony, Mod Secka, the Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Employment, said the ECOWAS Commission has in the past few years been working on strategies to implement the Comprehensive Africa Agricultural Development Programme.
"Attempts by ECOWAS to formulate Regional Agricultural Investment Programme is therefore in the right direction," he said.
He said such regional exercise needs inputs from all member countries, which would necessitate member states developing National Agricultural Investment Programme, adding that they started work since September 2008.
Mod Secka further said that the formulation of a National Agricultural Investment Programme was fraught with numerous challenges. He said Gambians with expertise in modelling are still rare.
"It was after months of tedious consultations that ECOWAS provided support for a Gambian modeller to work with other experts and research institutions to do the long- outstanding modelling," he said.
According to him, the modelling work has the merit of giving us different scenarios and possibilities.
"It also shows us the potential contribution of the various agricultural sub-sectors", he said, while commending FAO and others for their assistance.
Abdourahman Jobe, the Deputy Permanent Secretary for Agriculture said the report emanates from the agreement of the ECOWAS member countries on an action plan to implement both the Comprehensive Agricultural Development Programme (CAADP) and the ECOWAS Common Agricultural Policy.
He further said that the Ministry of Agriculture is fully ready to take up the challenge as they count on the support of their partners.