FAO gives fishing materials worth over US$9,000 to Kanikunda
Wednesday, June 20, 2012
Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) through its Telefood programme
Thursday handed over fishing materials to the community of Kanikunda in the
Sabach Sanjal District of the North Bank Region.
The items, which are worth about US$ 9, 808 include two fishing boats, two 8 horse power outboard engines, fishing nets and two bicycles. They are meant to increase the productive capacity of the fisher folk in Kanikunda and its environs. Telefood is FAO’s global efforts to raise awareness about hunger and food insecurity. It is also an effort to mobilise resources for hundreds of hunger fighting projects. It is one of the responses to the 1996 World food Summit’s call to action to eradicate hunger.
Handing over the items, Dr BabaganaAhmadou, the FAO representative in The Gambia explained that although significant progresses have been made towards World Food Summit Goal of halving the number of hungry people by 2015, more still needs to be done. “More resources need to be channeled into agriculture production and rural development in general to increase the production levels as well as to increase income levels of the rural people.
The FAO rep
said that since 1997 when the Telefood campaign was initiated many people have
supported Telefood events. He
disclosed that it is an initiative the FAO has made possible by funding more
than 2500 projects in 130 countries around the world.
continued: “Since it started, the Telefood campaign has generated over US20
million in donation. The Telefood Special Fund finances grassroots level micro
projects that help small-scale farmers produce more food and generate cash
income for better access to food. The Gambia has also benefitted considerably
from the Telefood Funds. Every year, since 1998, FAO has managed to launch new
Telefood projects here in The Gambia. There have been also efforts to raise
funds locally here in The Gambia to contribute to the global Telefood Fund.”
explained further that the project committee in collaboration with the
Department of Fisheries over the years has managed to raise significant amount
of funds locally by organising Telefood events like Fishing Days. These funds,
he added are transferred to global Telefood Fund as a contribution of the
Gambians to show their commitment for the alleviation of poverty and
eradication of hunger.
“The materials we are handing over today will benefit 45 members of the association and it cost about US$9,808 or D275,528 for the provision of fishing equipment for the fisher folk of Kanikunda. The project’s aim is to help the fishermen to find ways to bring an end to their dependence on rented fishing equipment and also to take unilateral control of their fishing activities meaning they will be in charge of their activities from catching the fish to marketing,” he added.
Speaking earlier, Musa Dampha, the director of Fisheries on behalf of the community of Sanjally Kanikunda extended sincere appreciation to the FAO rep in The Gambia for the move, saying it once again marks another manifestation of the FAO assistance to the fisheries sector.
He acknowledged that the materials would go a long way in strengthening the operations of the fisher folk as well as increase their income. “The FAO through its Telefood projects has provided vital assistance towards reducing post-harvest losses in fisheries, by provision of equipment and capacity building initiative to four fishing communities in The Gambia. Currently two new Telefood Fisheries are under review and I hope that they will also be approved,” he added.
described the move by FAO as important and a step in the right direction for
the fisheries sector, maintaining that it is also inline with the new
government development agenda in the context of PAGE and by extension the MDGs.
Dampha emphasised that the materials will immensely increase production, age
working condition and increase income of the beneficiaries.
He called on the potential users and beneficiaries to make the best use of the items while at the same time challenging them to form a special committee that will be responsible for the day-to-day supervision of the items.
Saidou Jallow of FAO who also chaired the ceremony gave a background information of the projects. Yusupha Ceesay, representing the National Assembly member of the area; and Brama Kassama, both commended FAO for the move. They also assured that the items will be put to good use.
Author: Sheriff Janko