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MOA Validates the National Agricultural Sector Strategy

The Ministry of Agriculture (MoA) on 9 March 2015 validated the National Agricultural Sector Strategy (NASS) at the Kairaba Beach Hotel.
Mr Ousman Jammeh Permanent Secretary one (1) MoA who also moderated the session in his opening statement said the Agricultural and Natural Resource (ANR) Gambia National Agricultural Investment Plan (GNAIP) and the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) end in 2015, thus the urgent need to validate the NASS to guide the operations of Agricultural development in the country.
Solomon Owens Minister of Agriculture in his deliberations challenged the stakeholders to critically scrutinize the strategy to make it workable for every partner in the Agricultural sector.
Minister Owens also asserted that every consumer of food is a stakeholder in Agriculture and as a result should contribute towards the development of Agriculture.  
Minister Owens concluded by expressing delight to their partners and the consultant for the brilliant job.
 He however suggested for another day for the validation of the strategy to make sure it is comprehensive.
Madam Pepetua Kateta Kalla the Food and Agricultural Organization Representative in The Gambia for her part said the validation of the NASS is a clear manifestation of the importance The Gambia Government attaches the Agricultural Sector.
He further stated that is key in poverty reduction and the attainment of Zero percent of hunger by 2020.
She added that the sector provides foreign exchange for the government and finances deficits and to reduce imports of Agricultural products.
She also noted that the sector also plays a key role in tourism, industrial development, and entertainment.
She also posited that the document would provide a guiding framework in poverty reduction, and would also guide government, civil society organizations, and NGOs who are stakeholders in the Agricultural sector.
She also said it would reduce overspending of resources on Agriculture. Madam Kalala concluded by expressing delight to the MoA and partners for the validation of this important document, adding that the FAO is pleased to be closely associated with MoA and assured the gathering that they would continue to support the MoA for its development.
Mr. Mamour Jagne the consultant in his presentation said, the process covered twenty-five working days and various ministries and departments were consulted to make sure every actor in the sector is captured. He also welcomes the recommendations from the participants and has promised to use their inputs to improve on the strategy. 
The occasion was graced by dignitaries various government ministries, NGOs, and UNOs.
By Samba Bah News editor at CEES Abuko

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