columnBy Bekai Njie
Hello readers, welcome to the another edition of the Environment. In this edition, we would like to share with our wider readership agriculture and forestry, and their relations to climate change. In doing this analysis we would feature the recently concluded validation process of the country's Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Action (NAMA) for the Agricultural sector, in line with efforts towards reducing Greenhouse Gas emissions, as well as contributions to sustainable development in the country. The NAMA is aimed at reducing the effects of Greenhouse Gas emission in the efforts to combat climate change.
The deputy permanent secretary at the Ministry of Agriculture, Abdoulie Danso, on the occasion of the validation workshop, revealed that agriculture and forestry alone contribute significant amount of emissions of Greenhouse Gases.
The Gambia, he said, being located in the Sahelian Agro-climatic Zone is exposed to unpredictable weather conditions, including droughts, floods, declining soil fertility and pest and diseases outbreaks. "These incidences have overall negative effects on agricultural production and productivity more significantly in the medium and long terms, and consequently on food security, poverty alleviation and economic growth, all of which directly expose the realisation of our development strategies at risk," he asserted.
However, the deputy Agric PS outlined government's vision for the agricultural sector in transforming the country into major supplier of agricultural products to local and international markets between 2012 and 2015 by increasing food security and boosting the income-generating capacity and the nutritional status of farmers, especially women and youth; transform the agriculture sector from a traditional subsistence economy to a modern market-oriented commercial sector; increase and sustain agricultural production and productivity and enhance beneficiaries productive capacity through supervision, coordination, regulation and advice.
Danso outlined that climate change as a constraint to agricultural development, and a vector for socio-economic growth, has become a recurrent agenda of discussion.
NAMA for Agriculture
The NAMA document, entitled'Mitigating Greenhouse Gas Emission and concentration in the atmosphere through promotion of an integrated crop and livestock system in The Gambia', which was recently validated by experts from the agricultural sectorand stakeholders, seeks to reduce Greenhouse Gas emission and contribute to sustainable development in the country. The document in itself contained 10 mitigation actions with only four being proposed from the agriculture sector.
Speaking at the closing occasion, the minster of Forestry and Environment, Fatou Ndey-Gaye, said that developing this important project for the nation's agriculture sector is timely and appreciated, while maintaining that when funded and implemented, it would support the farming communities of CRR and URR to addressing issues related to reduction of the emission of Greenhouse Gases from crop production, animal husbandry and horticultural activities.
"The project will also enhance sustainable development in the two administrative regions and produce development spill-over at the national level. It is hoped that food and nutrition security will be partlyin these regions," she said.
The minister went on: "Your dedicated services are appreciated. The project document is in an excellent state ready for uploading into the UNFCCC registry of Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Actions in the name of The Gambia."
Madam Gaye said bilateral and multilateral development partners, particularly developed country parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change are expected to pick up the project and provide financial, technological and capacity building support for the implementation.