5 December 2012

Gambia: FSCA Steering Committee Visits Project Sites

The Project Steering Committee of the Food Security through the Commercialization of Agriculture (FSCA) has conducted a four-day visit to some of their project sites in the Central River Region and North Bank Region to familiarize themselves with the work of the Project on the ground.

The National Project Manager Amie Jallow-Jatta told the audience in all the project sites that the FSCA project is one of seven projects funded by the Italian Government Trust Fund within the West Africa Region,

being implemented in the Gambia and that the objective of the project is to increase on a sustainable basis the agricultural productivity, marketed output and incomes of project beneficiaries' farmer based organizations (FBOs) and small-scale agro-processors resulting in improved livelihoods and food security.

She said Project Steering Committee (PSC) provides overall policy guidance to PSIP and that it ensures conformity of the Project plans and activities with the stipulated project objectives.

According to Amie Jallow-Jatta, the project manager, the Project Steering Committee comprises Permanent Secretary, MOA, Director,DOS, TANGO, Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Trade, The Women s Bureau, Private Sector, President of Farmers Platform, FAOR (Budget Holder), National Project Coordinator, Central Project Coordinating Unit (CPCU) and National Project Manager.

She noted that the PSC meets every 3 months and is chaired by the Permanent Secretary, MOA and that the National Project Manager is the Secretary of the Committee.

During the four days, the Project Steering Committee Members visited the following project sites; The Santa Yalla group in Lebba Malick Mbye Village in the Upper Saloum District in the Central River Region of the Gambia, the group has a total Membership of 134,71 of them are female, Group Juboo in Nyangen Village in the Niani District Central River Region of the Gambia, the group was registered in 1981 with a total membership of 118 out of which 83 are female. Kambeng Kafoo in Illiassa Village in Illiassa District North Bank Region of the Gambia, the group has a total Membership of 200 and all of them are female, the Ham-Ham leh Group in Kerr Jarga Village, in the Jokadu District North Bank Region of the Gambia, the group has a total Membership of 200, out of which 195 are female and Njawara Food Processors in Njawara Village Lower Baddibu District North Bank Region of the Gambia, the group was registered in 2000 and a total Membership of 70, out of which, 67 are female.

According to Amie Jallow Jatta, the project manager, the purpose of the visit is to familiarize the Project Steering Committee Members with the work of the Project because she said, since the inception of the project, all what some of the members know about the project was through the project reports and that, the project felt it significant to bring the members on the ground to see for themselves the development of the project.

She told the audience that the project is being implemented in two regions of the Gambia and that is, North Bank Region and Central River Region North. The project emphasizes the representation of women in group leadership and among farmer facilitators, as well as targeting the most vulnerable and food insecure members in the communities.

Hon Asheme Coley, the Deputy permanent secretary at the Ministry of Agriculture called on the Beneficiaries to make good use of the facilities being given to them by the FSCA, adding that projects are not to stay forever but that when they phase-out, the beneficiaries should be in a position to sustain them.

Farmers' Eye will report on the developments in each project site for the benefit of our readers.

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