29 January 2013

West Africa: President Jammeh Made Gambia Benefit From WAAPP - Coordinator Tells Stakeholders

The project coordinator of the newly implemented West Africa Agricultural Productivity Programme (WAAPP) has urged stakeholders and implementing partners to double their efforts to ensure the successful implementation of the project, saying it was due to the president of the Republic's personal request and effort that The Gambia is today benefitting from WAAPP.

Sheikh Tijan Sosseh made the remark recently while presiding over the validation meeting of the WAAPP Baseline Survey Draft report at the Baobab Holiday Resort in Bijilo

He said:"It is through His Excellency's personal request and effort that Gambia benefitted from WAAPP. So together, we should all take it seriously because it was through his personal effort at the last minute when he made a request to the World Bank's president that The Gambia should also benefit from WAAPP which was adhered to." Baseline Survey is a data collection mechanism prepared by the WAAPP project to measure what is on the ground now and the achievements registered at the end of the project.

Sosseh explained that WAAPP is a ten-year programme funded by the World Bank and the Spanish government which The Gambia has just started implementing. He said the first phase of the project will last for five years with possibilities of a second phase based on the successful performance of the first.

"Its objective is to enhance agricultural production and productivity with a budget of US$12M in four components: enabling conditions for regional cooperation and integration; strengthening of National Centres of specialisation; demand-driven technology generation and dissemination; and project management," he further remarked.

He added: "It is dealing with five commodity crops; maize, groundnuts, rice, vegetable, small ruminants and poultry production. We are using the value chain approach from seed to the table and when you look at that cycle you have various stakeholders or actors involved, researchers, extension workers, producers, processors among others and they are all equal stakeholders in terms of the implementation process.

So therefore, I want to appeal again to all to see the project as Gambians own and we all have a stake to ensure the success of the project rather than scrambling for resources. The president is watching and we all have to do our best. The successes and credit will come back to us at the end of the day. The failure will not be associated with only one person. So we all need to double our efforts and I am urging you all to take note of that."

Sosseh also thanked the consultant for the wonderful job done in the preparation of the report, saying he did justice to the report.

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