By Ndey Sowe
World Food Programme (WFP) has through Gambia Red Cross Society (GRCS) supported women farmers with seeds and farm tools in selected Community Garden Scheme in Upper River Region (URR), Central River Region (CRR) and North Bank Region (NBR).
The support is part of a project titled: “Resilience Strengthening of Women Farmers against the Impact of Climate Change and Conflicts”.
The handing over ceremony of the seeds and farm tools took place on Thursday, 3rd December, 2020, at the Gambia Red Cross Society Headquarter in Kanifing.
Alasan Senghore, Secretary General of Gambia Red Cross Society (GRCS), said Covid-19 has negative socio-economic impact particularly in developing counties like The Gambia.
Senghore said the project is critically addressing problems that are beyond the health impact of Covid-19 to human life.
“As humanitarian and development practitioners ‘we need to look at some of the medium to long term implications of the Covid-19 pandemic. Today the priority should be looking ahead of the curve in terms of what is going to happen to the livelihood of Gambians even after Covid-19 disappears today,” he said.
Nonetheless, Senghore said GRCS will continue its commitment of working with all partners, particularly the Gambia Government in a bid to complement their efforts in improving the life of Gambians.
Yasuhiro Tsumura, Country Director World Food Programme (WFP), said WFP has worked with the ministry to ensure the provision of food assistance to complement government’s efforts.
“WFP will work with partners in the medium and long term to support the government to improve production efficiencies, promote value addition and facilitate market access of farm produce” he said.
Senghor said WFP have partnered with GRCS to procure and distribute seeds and tools to 95 community gardens, supporting twenty thousand women farmers in NBR, CRR and URR, with support from FAO and NGOs.
Musa M Humma, Deputy Permanent Secretary Ministry of Agriculture, said public health regulations employed by the government in the wake of Covid 19, such as the closure of borders, Lumos etc. has direct impact on food production system in the Gambia.
“If there is any sector that Covid-19 hits hard, I want to think it is agriculture”, he said.
Humma added that their ministry with its partners did a general assessment of the possible impact of Covid-19 and put up a response plan to mitigate the negative effects of Covid-19 on the sector.