EYEAFRICA TV: Banjul, The Gambia: Stakeholders in the agriculture sector last week validated the 2020-2024 national horticulture strategy document at the Kairaba beach hotel in Senegambia.
The strategy aimed to support the attainment of the country’s national development plan and the implementation of the horticulture master plan 2015-2035 that was formulated by government with support from the Food and Agriculture Organisation FAO of the United Nations.
It also seeks to achieve food security, reduce poverty, create employment and generate wealth through domestic and external trade with a view to contribute to the socio-economic development and transformation of the country.
Speaking at the meeting, permanent secretary at the ministry of Agriculture Momodou Mbye Jabang highlighted government’s commitment to the realization of the potential of the horticulture sub-sector to complement the efforts enshrined in the country’s 2018-2021 national development plan.
He said the horticulture master plan sets a target to transform the sub-sector to become sustainable, modernized and export-oriented.
Shibu Rampedi, FAO country representative said the horticulture sub-sector makes a significant contribution to farm income and ensure food safety and nutrition security.
She said FAO will continue to support the government to break barriers to market access for farmers and food enterprises courtesy of the private sector investment, good policies and regulations.
The national horticulture strategy was formulated through a participatory process involving key stakeholders of the agriculture sector from public and private sector actors at national, regional and district levels.
Horticulture is an important source of foreign exchange earnings for many countries including the Gambia, and its products is rising globally. Farmers across the world are finding production and marketing of high value and high volume horticulture crops as profitable venture.
Written by Amadou Kanteh