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National Food Security Strategy Validation Forum Commences

Jul 2, 2009, 5:32 AM | Article By: Abdoulie Nyockeh & Isatou Senghore

A three-day national validation forum on food security is currently underway at the Seaview Hotel.

The forum is organised by the Ministry of Agriculture in collaboration with the Permanent Inter- State Committee for Drought Control in the Sahel (CILLS), and is being supported by the European Union.

In his welcoming remarks, the Deputy Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Agriculture, and also the CILLS National Coordinator, Mr. Abdourahaman Jobe, said the main aim of the exercise was to ensure that The Gambia like all other CILLS member countries is provided with a good and efficient structure to enhance good governance of food security.

In his statement, Mr. Laurent Millogo, the Representative of CILLS' Executive Secretary, expressed sincere thanks to the Gambian authorities for "hosting this very important forum".

He noted that CILLS started in the early Sixties to provide a framework for all the groups and actors of Sahelian societies to participate in the definition of their own vision of the future. He said this process culminated in the elaboration and validation of the strategic framework for sustainable food security in each of the nine CILLS member countries.

Mr. Millogo further noted that the objective of the forum was to share with conference participants the indicators as contained in the reference table of indicators.

He noted that "this workshop therefore is a follow-up to this process and its purpose is to strengthen the operationalisation of the Gambia National Food Security Strategy by putting in place a national monitoring and evaluation system."

In declaring the forum open on behalf of the President, Permanent Secretary Mr. Ebrima Camara, said the advent of a sustainable food security system in The Gambia and in all Sahelian countries in the sub-region is a necessity that cannot be over-emphasised.

He noted that the decision by the African Heads of State and Government to adopt the programme is a clear testimony of "shared collaboration for actions".

In addition to this, he added, the framework exists to speed up agricultural development and food security on the continent. He noted that "the Gambia government views this workshop as very important one which will greatly contribute to the good management of food security in the Gambia".

Mr. Camara added that government of the Gambia will therefore do everything possible to ensure the operation of national arrangements to enhance monitoring and evaluation as evident-based on planning of decision-making in the area of food security.