The National Coordination Organisation for Farmers Association, The Gambia (NACOFAG) on Tuesday gathered stakeholders to validate its first 5 years strategy plan (2020 to 2024) at a local hotel in Bijilo.
The five year strategy will maintain and deepen the quality and intensity of NACOFAG with government, development partners, private sector, and NGOs in policy advocacy and influence improved service delivery in the country.
NACOFAG president Musa F. Sowe said NACOFAG was established for the sole mandate of creating an environment where farmers contribute significantly to the socio-economic development of the country. He added that it is also supposed to provide policy direction for the farming sector and play a regulatory role among member associations.
"After the expiration of our strategies 2016, NACOFAG approach FAO to support development of a new 5 year strategic plan", he said while thanking FAO Gambia office for taking the lead in supporting the development of the strategic plan.
According to Sowe, due to the absence of comprehensive strategy direction they were not able to effectively coordinate, monitor and oversee activity implementations of their members.
He said NACOFAG brings together different Gambian farmers' associations to represent their interest and aspirations. Each of the farmers' association has its own management committee and a membership of various village 'Kafos' (at village, district and regional levels).
Sowe added that the purpose of the strategic plan is to address the underlying causes of rural poverty and vulnerability, saying those factors hinder productivity, core value chain development of agricultural commodities and capacity building.
Ousman Touray, FAO's representative said they recognise NACOFAG as a key partner in agriculture, food security and nutrition. He added that the two institutions have collaborated in a number of activities geared towards improving livelihoods in agriculture and natural resources over the years.
Touray said the 5-year strategic plan facilitates a systematic review of NACOFAG's role and will align its programmes to global and national priorities.
FAO, the EU funded project entitled Agriculture for Economic Growth, hired the services of an independent Consultant Firm (Institute of Social Research and Development-ISRAD) to support the development of the NACOFAG 5-year strategy plan (2021-2024).
The scope of the assignment comprised an institutional assessment of NACOFAG and a consultation on strategic directions.
The strategy document defines among others, a comprehensive and cross-cutting agricultural and social development reform agenda and proposes a set of priority actions to guide the organisation, and to ensure sustainability as well as to maximize the efficiency of its members in the current changing context.