The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) has donated four brand new Toyota pickup vehicles, ten laptops, and five printers to institutions under the ministries of agriculture and health in The Gambia.

Development Diaries gathered that the donations were made to tackle the rural poverty and malnutrition problem in the West African country.

The Gambia’s poverty rate remains at 48 percent, while food insecurity has risen from five to eight percent over the past five years as a result of weak food production systems, according to WFP.

The donation of the vehicles and IT equipment worth six million The Gambian Dalasis is expected to strengthen and increase the efficiency of field activities in the country.

The support is within the European Union (EU) funded projects, ‘Improving food security and nutrition in The Gambia through food fortification’, and ‘Agriculture for economic growth food security/nutrition to mitigate migration flows’ and the FAO-funded technical cooperation programme, ‘Mapping of the human resources capacity gap and strengthening capacity of the Ministry of Agriculture’.

Minister for Agriculture, Amie Fabureh, said the donation of vehicles and IT equipment will make an important contribution to the delivery of research and agriculture extension services.

Fabureh commended FAO and the EU for the solid partnership and joint efforts to contribute to the government’s commitment to addressing food insecurity, malnutrition, irregular migration, and rural poverty.

She highlighted FAO’s consistent support to the agriculture sector in the areas of policy and programmes formulation and implementation, institutional strengthening, and the provision of high-quality agricultural inputs and training to farmers.

‘With the support of FAO, the Ministry of Agriculture has been able to procure locally certified seeds from our Gambian farmers and seed entrepreneurs since 2019 to support farmers that are in need of assistance to restore their livelihoods’, she said.

‘As a country, we are yearning for food self-sufficiency by 2030’.

Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Health, Lamin Dampa, said, ‘Food security is a key pillar for health’.

He said the vehicle given to the directorate for health promotion and education under the Ministry of Health would help strengthen community health outreach activities for the achievement of optimal health and sustainable development.

Country Representative of FAO, Moshibudi Rampedi, said that the growth of the organisation’s work in the country was due to the massive financial support it was receiving from the EU.

She reiterated FAO’s continued commitment to its work in The Gambia and expressed optimism that the assistance will help the government improve agricultural research and extension services delivery as well as health education and promotion.

Source: The Point

Photo source: International Maize and Wheat Improvement Centre

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