'I am impressed': - Ecowas commissioner on President Jammeh's agricultural activities
Wednesday, March 04, 2009
The commissioner for Agriculture, Environment and Water Resources of the Ecowas Commission, Osseini Salifu, has strongly praised the Gambian leader, Professor Alhaji Dr Yahya Jammeh, for his personal involvement in agricultural activities.
"We were highly impressed when we learned of President Jammeh's involvement in agriculture as well as his various projects in that sector," he said. The Ecowas commissioner was speaking in an interview with the Daily Observer, yesterday, at the Paradise Suites Hotel in Kololi. Primarily in the country to attend the just concluded workshop on climate change, which was organised under the auspices of Ecowas, the commissioner also met with senior government officials from the Fisheries and Environment, Trade, and Agriculture departments of state.
Further expressing his admiration of the level of political support in the drive to promote agricultural activities in The Gambia, he explained that President Jammeh's actions are in line with the concerns of the commission and various regional heads of state. "In fact," he went on, "The Gambia seems to be well ahead in this regard and we are sure that if we keep collaborating in this way, we will definitely achieve positive results." He further explained that the recent forum on private sector intervention in agri-business, which took place in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, last month, was meant to reveal the rich potential of the agricultural sector in West Africa and to encourage investment in this vital sector.
"It would be very profitable for economic operators to be involved, for example, in not only importing rice but in developing and growing rice,' he said. The involvement of the private sector and indeed all parties, he added, is vital to the growth and development of the sector.
Turning to the burning issue of climate change, the commissioner has this to say: "Despite the fact that West Africa is one of the hardest hit regions by the negative impacts of climate change, we should be optimistic. We have been affected by droughts, flooding, coastal erosion and our bio-diversity has been affected too."
He added that what the region needs are adaptation mechanisms. "That is what this climate change workshop is all about," he stated. Adding that he was impressed with the reports that had emanated from the workshop, he expressed the expectation that the participants would "come up with a consensual document, because all the parties, government, NGOs, civil society, and development partners, are represented here".
Author: by Kojo