10-year ITC strategic development plan underway
Friday, June 08, 2012
The International Trypanotolerance Centre (ITC) under the patronage of the Ministry of Agriculture of The Gambia with the support of development partners such as AGRA, CORAF/WECARD, FAO, IDRC, ILRI and PROGEBE, is currently holding a three-day planning workshop for the development of a new 10-year strategic plan, at the Kairaba Beach Hotel.
ITC was established in 1982 by an Act of Parliament of The
Gambia and mandated to contribute to ongoing efforts to increase livestock
productivity and utilisation in the West African region through the optimal and
sustainable exploitation of the genetic resistance of indigenous breeds of
livestock for the welfare of human populations.
The centre recently embarked on a review of its mission and research activities in order to holistically consider current contemporary livestock issues so that it could continue to respond to livestock multi-faceted development needs.
The workshop is being attended by experts in its field of interest, and various partners including representatives of the ministries in charge of livestock, national agricultural research systems and civil society organisations (livestock farmers organisations and NGOs) from a number of West African countries (Burkina Faso, Ghana, Guinea Conakry, Liberia, Mali, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, and The Gambia), regional and international partner institutions (CIRDES, CORAF/WECARD, ECOWAS, FAO, ILRI, PROGEBE, ROPPA), donor and financial agencies (AfDB, AGRA, IDB).
Officially declaring the workshop open, Solomon Owens, the
minister of Agriculture said the overall objective of the workshop is to
harvest and capture the participant’s knowledge, concerns, opinions, and
suggestions to inform the strategic choices the institution has to make,
including programme content and delivery mechanisms. He expressed hope that the resulting mission should still
mandate ITC to contribute to development goals of its clientele and mandate
His words: “The institution must continue to respond to the development aspirations of its targeted beneficiaries and contribute significantly to the achievement of their development goals. In this regard, a pertinent global objective of the institution would be to contribute meaningfully to the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) especially MDG 1: The eradication of extreme poverty and hunger.” He added that the two pertinent global targets for the goal are to reduce by 50% the proportion of people whose income is less than $1 a day by 2015, and to reduce by 50% the proportion of people who suffer from hunger by 2015.
He continued: “Recent reports suggest that globally, the
world is on track to meeting the target of halving the proportion of people
living on less than $1 a day, but, the reports also noted that much of the
progress achieved has been due to significant success in Asia especially East
Asia, and little progress has been made in reducing extreme poverty in
sub-Saharan Africa which is one of the few regions that may not achieve the
poverty and extreme hunger reduction targets by 2015, There is therefore a lot
of work to be done to contribute meaningfully to meeting these targets.”
While this may constitute an ultimate goal, Minister Owens said a regional organisation like ITC must focus on and address development bottlenecks that are well identified in both the continental Comprehensive African Agricultural Development Programme (CAADP) and the Regional Agricultural Policy for West Africa (ECOWAP).
He also informed the gathering that in the Ecowas region, livestock contributes over 40% to the agricultural Gross Domestic Product. He finally urged the participants to devote adequate time to the meeting in order to come up with solid recommendations, while assuring of the support of the government of The Gambia to ITC.
Author: Alieu Ceesay