Aug 19, 2013, 10:38 AM
The National Coordinating Organisation for Farmer Association The Gambia, (NACOFAG) has just begun a land tenure system survey in the country to assess the situation on people's access and ownership to land.
Speaking to this reporter in his office in Brikama, the National Coordinator of NACOFAG, Alieu Sowe, said the survey is targeting mainly the youth, women and the immigrants, who are the most vulnerable in the society, particularly in accessing land.
In this vein, he said, NACOFAG deemed it fit to conduct the exercise to be followed with vigorous sensitisation campaign to ensure people have access to land for agricultural and other purposes.
"Although some people have access to land, NACOFAG wants more people to have access to adequate land, particularly for the purpose of agriculture in order to attain food self-sufficiency," he affirmed.
According to Mr Sowe, all West African countries are participating in the exercise and "The Gambia is not an exception".
He added: "NACOFAG as a farmer organisation wants to give support and comes up with a project to support poor people or the vulnerable in terms of food security, like the women, children, and the immigrants."
Mr Sowe said the exercise came about as a result of a finding discovered in other parts of the sub-region for the youth to have access to land for crop production.
"Some researches have indicated that in Africa women do not adequately own land, although they can access it," he said. "Looking at the country, 75 per cent of the household food security is produced by the women; therefore the women should be given the opportunity to access and own land."
He stressed that the exercise is purely voluntary and has nothing to do with politics and religion but mainly for food security purpose."
"NACOFAG is only interested in seeing that people have enough food on their table and for other uses," Mr Sowe noted observed, revealing that at the end of the month-long exercise if the land tenure system happened to be discovered as an obstacle to food security, then "NACOFAG will launch a campaign and come up with a programme" to salvage the situation for the realisation of food self-sufficiency.