By Olimatou Coker
Women farmers have on Thursday received seeds and farm tools from the World Food Programme (WFP) through the Gambia Red Cross Society (GRCS) in the 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.”
Speaking, Alasan Senghore, Secretary General for Gambia Red Cross Society (GRCS), 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 if Covid-19 disappears today,” he said.
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 the 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 has 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 the support from FAO and NGOs.
Musa M Humma, Deputy Permanent Secretary Ministry of Agriculture, said the impact of Covid-19 public health regulations, such as the closure of borders, lumos, etc. has direct impacts on the food production system in the Gambia.
“If there is any sector that Covid-19 hit hard, I want to think it is the sector of agriculture,” he said.
Humma added that their ministry with its partners did a general assessment of the possible impacts of Covid-19 and put up a response plan to mitigate the negative effects of Covid-19 on the sector.