Gambia to launch AFAAS
Monday, June 25, 2012
The Gambia will soon join other countries in the sub-region in establishing the African Forum for Rural Advisory Services (AFAAS) Gambia chapter, an organisation for Agricultural Advisory Services in Africa (AAS), which is also affiliated to the Global Forum for Rural Advisory Services (GFRAS) based in the Netherlands.
The objective of this sub-regional body is to create efficient, effective and synergistic linkages and partnerships between AAS member countries to improve the delivery of these services to farmers. It also operates within the framework of Pillar IV of the CAADP and spearheaded by FARA. This was disclosed on Wednesday at a sensitisation forum convened by the National Farmers’ Platform The Gambia, as part of its initial multi-stakeholder sensitisation and awareness raising for stakeholders on AAS and AFAAS, with a view to generating interest among the stakeholders to initiate AFAAS Gambia.
Giving a synopsis of the initiative, Marie Adams, the national coordinator of the National Farmers’ Platform The Gambia, gave a brief background of the institution, disclosing that AFAAS is developing its institution through setting up a secretariat in Kampala and that it will operate through a network of country fora. This body, Adams went further, will bring together a wide range of actors such as the private sector, agricultural research institutions, media, extension services, farmer organisations, NGOs, University of The Gambia among others, involved in or benefiting from agricultural advisory services in the member countries.
“These opportunities will provide a mechanism to exchange information, share lessons, and identify opportunities for providing services to each other, and for innovating on how to provide advisory services in their domain of work. The role of AFAAS is to facilitate the country flora in the different counties, aligning their strategies and programmes on AAS with the AFAAS strategic plan,” she added. She explained further that consultations between AFAAS and the National Farmers’ Platform started since last year on the establishment of AFAAS The Gambia.
Adams further explained that the initiative is committed to supporting the farmers in enhancing their livelihood, maintaining that they are also committed to creating awareness about the plight of farmers in improving their food production capacity. She revealed further that their next move will be to organise a national sensitisation forum which will attract farmers and other broad spectrum of stakeholders in a move to bring to the fore the plight of farmers in the country.
The forum wrapped up with questions and comments from the participants.
Author: by Sheriff Janko