Dec 2, 2008, 4:53 AM
A three day national validation workshop on the study for the communication strategies for the National Farmers Platform, The Gambia (NFPG) opened on Monday at the Jenoi Agricultural farmers Training centre in Lower River Region (LRR).
In his welcoming remarks, Deputy Governor LRR, Momodou Katim Touray, said the importance of the forum cannot be overemphasised because it avails the participants the opportunity to critically look at key issues contained in the study conducted for the communication strategies and the provisions of updated information on the activity of the platform.
He also recognised the role played by the National Farmers Platform in increasing agricultural productivity in the country. "The participation of key stakeholders in this validation and information sharing exercise is testimony to the platform's participatory approach to development, which enhances sustainability," he said.
He also added that the use of effective communication strategies is crucial in the implementation of agricultural projects and programmes. "If the communication strategies are to be effective, they need to be applicable, relevant and simple."
For his part, Mr. Bubu Khan, of Action Aid The Gambia, reassured farmers of his NGO's support at all times. He informed the gathering that just recently, his office has signed a project with the platform equivalent to D3m just to better the lot of Gambian farmers.
In declaring the workshop officially open, Mr Kekoy Jobarteh, deputy permanent secretary at the Department of State for Agriculture, described farmers as very important people in society. He advised the participants to take the forum seriously and to effectively participate in all the sessions.
Mr Kuyateh hailed the Gambian leader for serving as an example and inspiration for Gambians through his farming activities.
Other speakers on the occasion included Mr Emmanuel Sarr
Veco (a belgian NGO) based in