Jul 6, 2009, 6:17 AM
The forum, which brought rice experts and stakeholders together, was held at the Baobab Resort Holidays in Bijilo.
According to officials of NARI, the objective of the two-day forum was to bring all stakeholders working within and around the rice hubs in the West Coast Region and Central River Region platform to strengthen partnership and work collectively in the hub areas in ways that would guarantee rapid impact and develop with a common vision and outcome based on the shared ideas of the valued chain actors.
The objective of rice hub stakeholder meeting was alsoto communicate on research products such as varieties, machinery, rice as well as advise and discuss scalable technologies from research development and value chain actors,and assess and establish institutions’ mechanisms for the hubs.
It was also to discuss scalable technologies from research development and value chain actors, get an update of the nation’s research development strategy (NRDS) document and operationalization.
The other objectives were also to draft common vision of the hub based on the shared ideas of the valued chain actors and facilitators to draft the desirable outcome of the hub.
The expected results was that actors would be updated on research products and other activities ongoing in the hubs, vision and desirable outcome for each hub would be drafted based on the sharedideas of the valued chain actors and facilitators and work plan would be developed for each desired outcome.
In his closing remarks, the deputy permanent secretary, Ministry of Agriculture, Sherifo Bojang, said this was a very important session that needed to be given utmost care and attention, as everything was forged towards Vision 2016.
He said they should have partners like AFRICA Rice, who would always be at their end and always collaborate with them to see the development of the agricultural rice sector and the development of The Gambia.
He said they facilitated and helped them to develop a document or work around a document they could use in future to realize what they wanted to get as far as rice sector development was concerned as a ministry and research institute, which he thought was in the right direction.
He said he had no doubt the participants at the two-day convergence would come up with a document that would be proud of.
He challenged the participants to use the forum diligently towards producing a very good document that could be used by the National Research Institutes in fulfilling the objective of the workshop.
The hubs focal person, Mr Famara Jaiteh, also gave anoverview of hub activities, objectives, expected results and methodology of workshop, saying that hub represents key rice ecologies, which are linked to major national or regional rice development efforts to facilitate broader update of rice knowledge and technologies.
Dr Philip A. Idinoba of Africa Rice made a presentation on rice sector development strategy, highlighting the role of hubs and taskforce.