FAO hailed for intervention in post-harvest lost
Tuesday, April 10, 2012
The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) has been commended by the minister of Agriculture for its intervention in the post harvest loses in the Gambia following the former’s presentation of valuable equipment to the Ministry meant to address the issue.
At a presentation ceremony held at their head office at Fajara, the FAO-Gambia donated materials such as a Toyota pick-up, seven motorcycles, laptops, printers and one scanner to the Agriculture Ministry.
Speaking at the occasion, the Agriculture minister, Solomon Owens reiterated his commendation to the representatives of FAO on behalf of the president for the intervention. He acknowledged that this is the first of its kind of a program to deal with the post harvest lost in the country. Owens disclosed that 30 percent of loses occurred after harvest, something he stressed is inimical to the food self-sufficiency efforts in the Gambia. He added that most loses occurred through storage.
The Agriculture minister then informed that a total of 129 artisans have been trained across the country to help in the dissemination process. He finally applauded the president for coming up with such an imperative initiative.
Presenting the materials, the FAO representative in The Gambia, Dr. Babagana Ahmadou disclosed that the project budget is US$ 483,000 for the duration of 24 months. He then underscored that the Technical Cooperation Programme of the FAO is one of its tools for contributing to the achievement of the UN Millennium Development Goals and particularly the goal of eradicating extreme poverty and hunger.
The main objective of this project, hesaid is to promote the use of metallic household and community sized grain storage silos in order to prevent post-harvest loses due to humidity or pest, and to increase the quantityof available food for local consumption or for sale.
The FAO country rep went on to stress that in order to ensure sustainability, the project has been implemented through the Department of Agriculture under the Ministry of Agriculture in partnership with the Gambia Technical Training Institute at all levels. “I sincerely hope that these items will be put into good use and hasten the implementation process,” he concluded.
Also speaking at the ceremony, the director general of Agriculture, Sait Drammeh also commended FAO for responding to their call at such a crucial period. While underscoring that the Technical Cooperation Program (TCP) is geared towards the promotion and diffusion of household metallic silos for grains and seeds storage in the Gambia, Drammeh disclosed that they have trained artisans across the country on the TCP.
The director general of GTTI, Abdoulie M.A Loum, for his part, thanked the president through the Ministry of Agriculture for the partnership in the development of the TCP project initiated by the president. He disclosed that 24 artisans have been trained on the TCP at GTTI, saying that his institution is proud to collaborate with the FAO. “This project is important for it has built the capacity of the staff and students who participated in the project,’’ he remarked.
Author: Zainab Faal