A four-day training on African Monitoring of Environment for Sustainable Development(AMESD) project has yesterday kicked-off at the Baobab Holiday Resort in Bijilo. The forum that attracted many participants within the Ministry of Agriculture, is organised by Department of Agriculture and hosted by the Planning Services Unit.
The AMESD project is implemented in West Africa by the AGRHYMET Regional Centre on behalf of ECOWAS and the African Union. The objective of the training workshop is to review the different indicators made available in the framework of AMESD and to discuss with participants about their possible use for monitoring activities during the agricultural season and their use to illustrate food security and /or natural resources management early warning bulletins.
Participants at the end of the workshop are expected to be able to interpret the different products that will be made available to them and better inform the decision makers.
In his official opening remarks, the director general of the Department of Agriculture, Musa Huma expressed delight for the opportunity accorded to him to preside over the opening of the AMESD training organised by his department. He said the European Union and the African Union jointly launched the AMESD program under the framework of the 19th EDF 2007 in order to equip African countries with the means of monitoring the environment for our sustainable development.
He added that the AMESDprogram is aimed at creating an information networkunder five thematic areas. He said the objective of the AMESDis to provide all African countries licensed with the resource they need to manage their environment more effectively and ensure a long term sustainable development. Huma added that AMESD is more importantly aimed at improving the life and prospect of the three hundred and fifty million disadvantagedpeople in Africa.
He added that Agriculture is the backbone of the economy of most African countries and as such, community dependency on agriculture is on the increase. He added that the Planning Services Unit under the Department of Agriculture is doing its utmost best for a study and survey. He said the use of AMESD in The Gambia will go a long in increasing the efficiency, the effectiveness and reduce cost for rapid data and information acquisition to inform decision making. He then challenged the participants to take the training seriously as it is very important as far as technology is concerned. He also called on the need for people to give agriculture the attention that it deserves.
For his part, Dr. Seydou B. Traore, an official of the ARGRHYMET Regional Centre of CILSS, expressed appreciation to the Department of Agriculture under the government of The Gambia for hosting this very important training. He further expressed hope that the training will yield dividends. He also challenged the participants to made suggestion and recommendation during this training. He noted that the input of everybody is key as the participants have a pivotal role to play in the society.
In his welcome remarks, the deputy director of the Department of Planning Services, Abba Sankareh called on the participants to make the best use of this training.