CRR to host First National Farmers Conference
Tuesday, May 08, 2012
The first-ever national farmers’ convergence with key development partners such as the government and private sectors dubbed ‘National Farmer Conference’ is slated for Thursday 10th to 12th May, 2012, in the Central River Region Island town of Jangjangbureh.
under the aegis of the Ministry of Agriculture in collaboration with
stakeholders, the forum is meant to sensitise the farmers on the development
processes in the country, particularly the various policy and programme
frameworks covering the Agriculture and Natural Resources (ANR) sector.
also designed to determine the nature and scope of interests, priorities,
challenges, needs and the requirement of the various farmers groups,
association and bodies as well as their expectation from the government and
other support sources.
three-day interactive forum will also see the participation of farmer
representatives countrywide, government representatives, stakeholders including
development partners, business, commercial and private entities,
semi-government institutions and individuals.
However, according toa releasesent to Daily Observer, the purpose of the conference is complex in nature taking into account that it involves country-wide coverage, intervention from political, social and institutional structures, multidisciplinary to close interaction from other sectors in the economy of the country.
The release further indicated that over the past two decades, the government of The Gambia has been pursuing overarching priorities of sustainable human development and the quality of living standards of the people.
“A number of strategies are
established to address these priorities and are in various stages of
implementation, among them is the Vision 2020 that aims at putting the country
on the medium income bracket, targets forthe Millennium Development Goals -particularly goal one which is
designed to halve hunger by 2015, Poverty Reduction Strategies (PRSP)- that
would raise the living standard of the people, especially self-reliant food
security and the new development blue print -Programme for Accelerated Growth
further highlighted that all of the above mentioned frameworks have made
operational reference to the largest agents in the sector; the farmers and their
various institutions (groups, organisations, associations and bodies). “The
government recognises that without these stakeholders, more importantly, their
efficient participation, the framework would be merely intentions and remain
On the other hand, however, past experiences on the involvement of farmers in similar frameworks have shown a relatively high level of inefficiency of the farmers in achieving desired objective in the sector,” the release observed.
sector, the release stated, possess the greatest potential in the foreseeable
future, from which to obtain sustainable products through which to achieve
objectives of improved living standards of the people and sustainable human
development as envisage in Vision 2020 and the PAGE. “The sector is however,
largely subsistence in nature and under-developed in outlook.
The producers and economic agents in it are predominantly small-scale using low output technologies and inefficient system in the value chain of the sector and key commodities for supplies of stable food income and employment. In the last two years, the government declared the sector top priority for the achievement of current national priorities objectives and that it also set a vision for the ANR to transform The Gambia into a major supplier of agricultural products to local and international markets by 2015,” it concluded.
Author: Sheriff Janko