Two telefood projects for Pirang

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Yankuba Touray Secretary of State for Fisheries, Water Resources and National Assembly Matters yesterday handed over two FAO telefood projects worth $18,000 to the fishing community of Pirang.

The projects are a smoke house with ovens for women fish smokers and fishing inputs (caones, out boat engine, nets and life jeckets) for the Shrimpers.

Speaking at the handing over ceremony, SoS Yankuba Touray said the project is important as it will better prepare the beneficiaries to face challenges in food crisis. He said the beneficiaries of the project should leave not stone unturn in the sustainability of the projects. He urged them to be committed to their work adding that the two projects are a tip of the ice berg provided that they took good care of the projects.

He assured FAO the government’s readiness to support the telefood programme. Secretary of state Touray added that FAO has been a very good partner in the fisheries sector and are such his department of state will maintain the existing good partnership.

For his part Malcolm Duthie, FAO/WFP Representative to The Gambia said telefood is FAO’s global effort to raise awareness about hunger and food insecurity. According to him it is an effort to mobilise resources for hundreds of hunger fighting projects and it is one of the response to the 1996 World Food Summit’s call to action to eradicate hunger.

“This is a challenging call and we have a long way to go if we are to halve the number of hungry people by 2015. It is in the rural areas where we have to see more done and there is a growing and urgent need to ensure more food is produce and that the incomes of the rural people are increased.

Telefood is helping in doing this”. According to the FAO boss, The Gambia has also benefitted considerably from  telefood funds. “Every year since 1998 FAO has managed to launch new telefood projects here in The Gambia. There have also been efforts to raise funds locally to contribute to the global telefood funds.

Thirty-two projects have been approved and launched in The Gambia. These projects are in horticulture, fisheries, forestry and livestock amongs others. The first project we are handing over today which is the smoke house project will assist twenty-five women group members to increase smoke fish production.

” According to Mr Duthie the smoke house construction cost $9,260 and it is aimed to provide appropriate technology to improve food security and income needs of these women. It will also assist Mr Duthie added to reduce post harvest losses.

The second project which is the fishing inputs will benefit 79 members of the Pirang fishermen’s association which cost $9,200. The project’s aim according to Mr Duthie is aimed to help the fishermen to find ways to bring an end to their dependent on rented fishing equipment and also to take control of their fishing activities so that they will be in charge of all the activities from catching to marketing of the fish. “They need to see this as a form of start-up capital which they make work for them for the future ” Mr Duthie concluded.

Also speaking at the ceremony the National Assembly Member for Kombo East Lamin MM Bojang thanked the FAO for their support to the fishing community of Pirang. He said this could not have come at a better time than now. He assured the donors that the projects will be a success story.

He appealed to donors for more help in the area of a storage facility for the fishermen. Saja Bojang speaking on behalf of the fishing community adopted Lamin MM Bojang’s statement saying that they have constraints in marketing their catch. He called on the government for help.

Author: by Lamin M. Dibba