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Press Release 99/39

BANGLADESH, THE GAMBIA SIGN AGRICULTURAL ASSISTANCE ACCORD AS PART OF FAO'S SPECIAL PROGRAMME FOR FOOD SECURITY


Rome, 23 June -- The governments of Bangladesh and The Gambia recently signed a tripartite agreement with the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) to send Bangladeshi agricultural technicians to assist the agricultural sector in The Gambia, the UN Agency announced today. The cooperative accord, signed under the framework of FAO's Special Programme for Food Security (SPFS), will put the technical assistance services of Bangladesh to work in The Gambia for three years, continuing a spirit of cooperation between South Asia and African countries.

According to the agreement, Bangladesh "will provide the most appropriate technology, material and equipment to maximise technical cooperation in the various fields" including rice production horticultural crops small animal husbandry, artisanal fisheries, aquaculture and small scale water control technologies. The aim is to help The Gambia "improve living conditions of the poor and the vulnerable groups in rural areas," says the agreement. The effort will be funded by the governments of both countries and FAO.

South-South Cooperation under the SPFS provides an opportunity to strengthen cooperation among developing countries at different stages of development with the support of interested donor countries and FAO, according to UN Agency. The initiative, which helps countries benefit from the experience and expertise of more advanced developing countries, was launched at the beginning of 1997.

The Special Programme for Food Security is operational in 46 countries - 27 in Africa, 10 in Asia and the Near East, 6 in Latin-America, 2 in Europe, and 1 in Oceania. In 28 LIFDCs, the SPFS is in various stages of formulation.

Signing the tripartite agreement were: Bangladesh Ambassador Muhammad Zamir, Gambian Secretary of State Fasainey Dumbuya of The Gambia's Department of State of Agriculture and the FAO Representative in The Gambia, Heimo Mikkola.

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To learn more about FAO's Special Programme for Food Security and "South-South" cooperation, please visit the FAO web site at: http://www.fao.org/spfs/

Contact: Erwin Northoff
Media Officer
Telephone: (39) 06 57 05 31 05
E-Mail: erwin.northoff@fao.org


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