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Pesticide Sensitive Zone Stakeholders Forum Held

Aug 11, 2009, 11:09 AM | Article By: Abdoulie Nyockeh

In a bid to equip the Gambia with a comprehensive desert locust control system, the Africa Emergency Locust Project (AELP) recently organised a one-day stakeholders forum on pesticide sensitive zone, held at the Model Horticultural Training Centre in Wellingara.

Speaking at the forum, the Project Coordinator, Sheikh Tijan Sosseh, who gave a background report of the project, said Africa Emergency Locust Project is a sub-regional project launched with the aim of ensuring a rapid desert locust control, and to mitigate the socio-economic impact of 2004/05 locust invasion in the Sahel.

According to him, it consists of seven Sub-Saharan countries (The Gambia, Senegal, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Chad and Burkina). Mr. Sosseh said AELP-The Gambia is a loan given to the Gambia government, which will be repaid within a grace period of 40 years, with very low interest rates.

He disclosed that it is co-funded by the World Bank and government of the Gambia on 92% and 8% basis, respectively.

The loan, he added, was signed in March 2005 and ratified in August of the same year. Mr. Sosseh further stated that the project was declared effective in September 2005, after fulfilling all the effective conditions.

Mr. Sosseh further stated that the project is executed by the Ministry of Agricultural Rest Management under the Department of Agricultural Services and other stakeholder institutions involved in agriculture and rural development in the Gambia.

In presenting a paper, Mrs. Yassin Khan, AELP's Monitoring and Evaluation Officer, said the objective of the project is to strengthen the capacity of the Gambia in order to prepare and implement programmes and actions designed to prevent, control and manage desert locust infestation within its territory and in the region.

She added that the project also aims to mitigate locust economic and environmental impact, including impact on agriculture production, livestock and food supply.

According to her, the project comprises four main components, namely emergency locust management; emergency agricultural investment, early warning and response, and project management and coordination.