Members of the National Assembly, local elected representatives, journalists and members of the network of Livestock and Natural Resources Management/Environment Wednesday began a two-day workshop on the laws, regulations and policy issues affecting the livestock sector, at the Tendaba Camp in the Lower River Region.
The workshop was organised by the Project for the Sustainable Management of Endemic Ruminants Livestock of West Africa (PROGEBE) -The Gambia.
Declaring the workshop open, Sheriffo Bojang, the deputy permanent secretary at the Ministry of Agriculture, on behalf of the minister of Agriculture, said the livestock sector in the country has been affected by institutional reforms, but noted that government is aware of the fact. He assured that the Department of Animal Science will stand firm towards the making the sector more vibrant.
He disclosed that the Demand Driven Project called Good Governance in Veterinary Services, executed by the African Union, has already started, adding that the project will be implemented in The Gambia. Bojang said that the Gambia government attaches great importance to the livestock sector. He also told the gathering that PROGEBE-The Gambia has registered tremendous achievements in the livestock sector since its inception in 2009, with farmers benefitting a lot from the project.
For his part, Dr Famara Bulli Sanyang, the national coordinator of PROGEBE-The Gambia, said the purpose of the workshop was to strengthen the involvement of law and policymakers and enforcement agents/authorities in the management of animal genetic resources and the conservation of indigenous ruminant livestock in particular. He explained that PROGEBE-The Gambia is being implemented in five districts namely Nianija, Niamina East and Kiang West and are referred to as primary sites. He said that Kombo East and Sami are referred to as secondary sites.
Dr Sanyang pointed out that PROGEBE was born from the will of The Gambia, Mali, Guinea and Senegal to preserve and enhance the productivity of ruminants. He said the aim of the project is to contribute to poverty reduction, strengthening food security and improve productivity of endemic ruminant livestock (meat, milk and income) within a supportive and enabling institutional environment. He remarked that since the inception of the project in 2009, it has helped to build the capacities of farmers and put in place infrastructural development on the sites they operate.
Ebrima Jawara, coordinator of the Project Coordination Unit (CPCU) at the Ministry of Agriculture, hailed PROGEBE for the good work they are doing in The Gambia.