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Stakeholders forum wraps up

Aug 9, 2011, 1:13 PM | Article By: Njie Baldeh

National Women Farmers Association (NaWFA) recently concluded a one-day workshop on sesame value chain at its conference hall in pipeline.

The aim of the workshop was to prepare a policy document on sesame, together with partners in the sesame value chain, to be able to influence political decision.

In his opening remarks on the occasion, Njaga Jawo executive director of NaWFA, said the Association, whose main crop is sesame, intends to work closely with stakeholders and members of the Gambia government to solicit support towards its effort at ensuring the sesame value chain “is mainstreamed and given more boost to increase the sector’s competitiveness and marketability nationally and internationally.

“Sesame is mainly sold in its raw state but has a great potential to be transformed into other consumable forms, such as oil and cake,” Mr Jawo said. “This is in line with government policy of production diversification and export diversification priorities.”

Agricultural and trade policies on a regional, national and global level have strongly impacted on the ability of farmers, particularly women farmers, to contribute to their wellbeing, he said.

The executive director also said NaWFA was partnering with NARI in sesame research, particularly adaptive trials, seed multiplication and variety verification.

NaWFA has done a lot of promotion in farming, he noted, adding that every year “we call on stakeholders to discuss issues concerning farming”.

Morro Manga of NARI, in his remarks, said The Gambia is trying to identify crops that could be exported, for more production.

“The market is here but the people buying from them are not reliable,” he said, adding: “There should be a kind of coordination.”

Mr Manga also commended the participants for showing maximum commitment towards the workshop, saying the knowledge gained from it would help them to do their job “effectively”.