Mar 11, 2009, 9:29 AM
Various sub-regional farmer organisations in the country and beyond recently attended a daylong meeting at the NACOFAG office in Brikama, West Coast Region.
The organisations that took part in the session included the livestock poultry farmers' association, cashew farmers' association, maize growers' association, AFET, Cattle Rustler Association, fishmongers’ association and the National Women Farmers' Association.
Hosted by NACOFAG, the meeting was funded by IFAD through the Rural Finance project.
In his remarks on the occasion, the president of the National Farmers' Association in The Gambia, Alhagie Musa Jawneh, said he was delighted that NACOFAG successfully hosted the "high-profile" meeting.
He also said he was satisfied with the turnout of participants, "which shows that farmers are concerned about their welfare".
Mr Jawneh added that the meeting was held to set out a strategy and to put a method in place to meet a five-year target proposed for the group.
For his part, the president of NACOFAG in The Gambia, Abba S Manneh, described the meeting as "very vital and timely", saying: "The meeting is an opportunity for farmers' associations to express their views and concerns to the funder of the forum to see how best they could be aided."
Since the participants represented their organisations, it would be very unfair if they failed to extend the message to their various organizations, he said.
Mr Manneh further gave an overview of NACOFAG and thanked IFAD through the Rural Finance Project for funding the event.
He called for a closer collaboration between NACOFAG and IFAD for the realization of their objectives.
In his opening remarks on the occasion, Western Region Governor Lamin Sanneh thanked the consultant, Amadou Taal, for coming up with a laudable initiative.
Mr Sanneh described Mr Taal as very instrumental and committed to national development.
Governor Sanneh challenged the participants to make the best use of the meeting, saying: "The importance of this sub-regional meeting cannot be overemphasised as it aims to bring integration among our sister countries -
For his part, the national consultant, Amadou Taal, underscored the importance of the forum, saying the gathering had given opportunity to various farmer organizations to discuss and raise the concerns and constraints affecting them.
Mr Taal also talked about the importance of agriculture. "No country can achieve meaningful development without agriculture," he said.