The Ministry of Fisheries, Water Resources and National Assembly Matters is expected to receive a US$30 Million Dollars investment from the West Africa Regional Fisheries Programme (WARFP) to develop fish landing sites in the country.
Hon. James FP Gomez, the Minister of Fisheries, Water Resources and National Assembly Matters made these revelations in his opening statement at a two day stakeholders retreat at the Djembe Hotel, Kololi.
Minister Gomez informed the participants that The Gambia has joined other countries and would benefit from the second phase of the West Africa Regional Fisheries Programme (WARFP).
“The expected investment for The Gambia from this programme is US$30 Million with justifications on developing the landing sites and adding value to the fisheries products for improved food security and poverty eradication,” Minister James Gomez said.
Minister Gomez further disclosed the formation of Project Preparatory Team (PPT) during the first quarter of the year. The team he said has started work in earnest, identifying and preparing for the project implementation with effect from January 2018 for 5 years.
He spoke about the project development objective of WARFP to improve the management of selected fisheries, increase the post harvest value of catch in targeted landing sites and improve an enabling environment for aquaculture development.
The Fisheries Minister further revealed another budget of US$442, 000 thousand dollars project secured from the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations that is intervening in the Aquaculture sub-sector. He commended the support and collaboration of the European Union EU and the United Nations Development Programme UNDP. He also spoke about the Memorandum of Understanding MoU signed with the government of Turkey. He mentioned the bilateral cooperation signed between the Gambia Government and the Republic of Senegal.
The Food and Agriculture Organization FAO Representative, Dr. Perpetua Katepa Kalala commended the Ministry of Fisheries for bringing together key stakeholders to jointly discuss and identify the main challenges that the sector faces and map the way forward to improve the country’s development objectives.
“The sector has great potential which when attained will be a game changer for national development,” Dr. Perpetua FAO Representative said.
He added: “A major contribution to the Gambia’s socio-economic development is embedded within this sector which could help in poverty alleviation with 12 percent to GDP.”
Dr. Perpetua said FAO has been providing technical assistance and advice in the formulation and implementation of policies, strategies, programmes and projects in fisheries and agriculture sectors aimed at improving food security.
He disclosed that the FAO has recently supported the sector with three Telefood projects, through capacity building and provision of fishing boats with outboard engines, life jackets and boats to two inland fishing communities and ten boats to TRY Oyster Association and its fifteen affiliated villages for the sustainable and efficient harvesting of oyster.
She thanked the Fisheries Minister for signing the FAO Country Programming Framework and the preparation of the next cycle CPF 2018–2021 that has commenced.
Meanwhile, the specific objectives for organising the retreat among other things is to engage stakeholders and partners in sharing information relevant to improved planning of the management and development of the fisheries sector. The retreat would identify and prioritise issues affecting the contribution of the sector in national socio-economic development. He also highlighted that the government would collaborate with its development and donor partners to improve value chain for fisheries and aquaculture transformation among other principal outcome areas.