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The sub-regional forum that was hosted by the department of planning was funded by CILSS with the aim of identifying actions to boost the process of implementation, monitoring and evaluation of policies.
The meeting brought agricultural experts together to monitor and diagnose the information systems and the national monitoring/ Evaluation systems of policies within the context of setting up a system and an integrated information centre on food and nutritional security in The Gambia.
In his official opening remarks, the deputy permanent secretary of the Ministry of Agriculture, Asheme Cole, welcomed the delegation of CILSS and all the participants to the very important forum.
He said the issues of food security are registered in the development priorities of The Gambia and in the Sahelian countries.
Therefore he said it is deemed necessary for the participation of players at both national and regional levels to realize the objectives.
According to the deputy permanent secretary, this intervention globally aims at creating the condition for a structural food security based primarily on the systematic mobilization and sustainable food resource in the sub-region and building the capacity for prevention and management of food and cyclical nutrition crises.
He added that in the context of implementation of these policies, action have been developed by national and regional players, both public and private, to improve the productivity of agricultural production systems and livestock, to develop agricultural markets, and to increase access to food and basic social services, and improve the income of vulnerable population.
According to DPS Cole, CILSS as a regional organisation is aware of the contents of these issues and is committed to providing information relating to better identifying, planning, implementing and evaluating the impact of actions in the agricultural policies and programmes as well as food andnutrition security developed on the ground.
He said this approach would enable CILSS to improve its ability to work in the field of food nutrition security in the West African sub-region.
He added that the Government of The Gambia attaches great importance to the development of these tools and therefore expects these to reflect to relevant proposals that would enhance the country’s institutional environment.
He also told the participants that recommendation should specifically consider that each actor, public, private or civil society can contribute effectively and to the establishment and facilitation of such development.
He further assured the delegation that the Government of The Gambia will spare no effort to perform his share of responsibility in the conduct of these processes.
He therefore urged other stakeholders to prepare to play their full role in the sense that, given the diversity of areas and activities concerned with these issues, it is only together that we can meet the major challenge to curb food insecurity and poverty in the CILSS in particular and Africa in general.