Dec 17, 2013, 9:38 AM
The signing ceremony was administered by PROGEBE site managers, namely Mr Nerry Corr of Kiang West, Mr Sajah Cora of Niamina East and Mr Mamud Njie of Nianija at various ceremonies held at mini dairies facility grounds at the weekend.
The 5-page (12 articles) signed on the tripartite protocol agreement clearly spells out the role and responsibilities of each party in the sustainability and management of the mini dairies. They were all represented by their various organizations’ presidents.
Speaking earlier, Dr Famara Bulli Sanyang, National Coordinator for PROGEBE Gambia, urged the signatories to go by the protocol by sustaining and maintaining the facilities for its purpose.
He said that PROGEBE has done its part by providing the facilities, materials and trained those in charge or running the facilities with all the required skills and knowledge to sustainably operate the facilities for poverty reduction, income generation and job opportunity for women and youths in milk productions and procession in the various districts of the project intervention areas.
According to him, the objective of the project is to promote the development of trypanotolerant livestock breeding on a sustainable basis with a view to reducing poverty and improving the income of livestock breeders and other actors within the endemic ruminant value chain.
Asheme Cole, DPS Programs and Projects at the Ministry of Agriculture, spoke at length on the importance of PROGEBE interventions in the country, adding that it aims at empowering women and youths who are working in the livestock and milk production areas to improve their productivity and income generations for the socio-economic development of the farmers.
He commended the Government of The Gambia for creating the enabling environment for effective and successful implementation of PROGEBE Gambia project in the country.
He urged the associations to include the youths and women in the business, so that in future they will take charge of the affairs of the mini dairies.
For his part, Dr Alhagie Ibrahim Mara, PROGEBE regional coordinator, said the project is in four countries, namely Guinea Conakry, Mali, Senegal and The Gambia and has a lifespan of six years.
The project, he added, acquired funding support from Global Environmental Facility (GEF), the African Development Bank (AfDB) and the governments of the participating countries.
According to him, the said project, which commenced in 2009, is expected to phase out in December 2013, with a possibility of extending it to June 2014 for the benefit of other countries who are still behind in terms of implementations.
Alhagie Ganyie Touray, Governor of Central River Region, hailed PROGEBE Gambia and the Government of The Gambia for having the interest of local farmers at heart and improve their wellbeing through economic enhancement and self-reliance.
He said: “Here come the facilities in place as you (local farmers) requested and the project provides series of capacity building trainings and sensitizations both at local and national level on different aspects of milk procession, hygienic, marketing strategies and leadership skills among others.
“It is now your responsibility to maintain the facilities for it to serve its purpose and for it to sustain you must work hard and collectively for the interest of the members,” he emphasized.
Seyfo Malick Mbye, chief of Upper Saloum, hailed the local communities for their cooperation during the construction of the dairy facilities, thus urging them to maintain the unity among them in the interest of development.
Seyfo Omar Gibba, chief of Kiang West District, spoke of the important roles played by PROGEBE intervention in his district; adding that as leaders they are always making sure to further the aims and objectives of such project for the interest of development.
Dr Abdou Ceesay, on behalf of the deputy director of livestock services, spoke at length on the importance of sustaining the dairy facility for the interest oflivestock in the area.
He stressed on three key areas, namely partnership, ownership and sustainability.
Fatou Bintou Sanyang, president of Lego Kossam milk vendor association, applauded the project, saying: “We will do our best to ensure that the dairy is sustained for generations to come thus reduce poverty.”
She noted that she would ensure that the protocol agreement signed was implemented to the fullest in the interest of all and sundry.