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NACOFAG gears to promote food security, others

Apr 22, 2010, 12:32 PM | Article By: Abdoulie Nyockeh

Mr. Alieu Sowe, the National Coordinator of the Network of National Farmers Organisation revealed that NACOFAG has (11) members across the country with the ultimate aim of propagating the development of food security, poverty alleviation, gender regarding the empowerment of women and the youth, among others.

He made this statement recently in an interview with this reporter at his office in Brikama. He noted that all these members and the secretariat continued to work closely and harmoniously at planning decision-making, lobbying and implementation of programmes.

Mr. Sowe then went on to give an overview of NACOFAG noting that the National Farmers Network has been established by farmers organisation in The Gambia, to represent them at ROPPA, the West African Regional Network of Farmer's Organisation, whose head office is at Ouagadougou in Burkina Faso. He said ROPPA comprises representatives from 12 ECOWAS countries, namely The Gambia, Senegal, Burkina Faso, Mali, Togo, Ivory Coast, Ghana, Sierra Leone, Benin, Guinea Bissau and Guinea Conakry.

He said the main idea of the initiative is to bring all the sectors on a common platform for the realisation of the development of agriculture, through a support programme to the entire farming fraternity of The Gambia and beyond.

Mr. Sowe disclosed that for the period under review NACOFAG has been growing from strength to strength for the ultimate realisation of its objectives. This, he added, was a result of the benevolent support rendered by ROPPA, the institution that has always put the interest of the network members at the forefront.

According to him, the goal of this organisation is to create an efficient and effective network of farmers association, with the capacity to provide members with managerial, technical and resource support for the implementation of their programmes.

According to Mr. Sowe, since its inception, the Association of Farmers, Education and Traders (AFET), a non-governmental organisation in The Gambia has been entrusted by NACOFAG executive committee members, to host and accommodate the secretariat until in July 2009, when other staff were appointed, hence the establishment of a new secretariat complex in Brikama Town, 30km away from the capital city of Banjul.

Mr. Sowe added that by looking at the objective of the association, “you will come to realise that there is meaningful approach in complementing the efforts of the government, the interventional institutions in their drive to meet the Millennium Development Goals on food security and Vision 2020 for The Gambia.

Mr. Sowe asserted that the objectives of the association is to promote and defend the values of an efficient and sustainable small-holder agriculture, to promote solidarity between farmer associations in the country and the sub-region and to promote awareness, good governance, effective leadership and empowerment of member association, as well as to establish the basis for an agricultural network in order to attract financial and technical assistance from multi-lateral and bi-lateral donors, charitable organisations, governments and non-governmental organisations.