Awareness raising on the Agriculture & Natural Resources (ANR) Policy in Gambia: Radio Programme and ANR Platform Tour.
National Level Radio Programme
In July 2013, a radio programme to raise the awareness on the Agriculture and Natural Resource (ANR) Policy was conducted at The Gambia Radio and Television Services (GRTS). This programme aimed at preventing sectoral policy implementation conflicts as the ANR is geared towards improving the livelihoods of the Gambian population and the farming community in particular.
ANR Platform trekking in the regions
Meeting with the Governor of the Lower River Region A delegation comprising of 10 Members from the ANR Platform trekked the country between the 15th and the 23d of July to dialogue with key stakeholders and to gauge their level of awareness of the ANR Policy, and to discuss with Regional Governors and lined Ministries on the Agriculture and Natural Resource (ANR) Policy. The team met the Regional Governor of Lower River Region, the North Bank Region, the Central River Region North (KUNTAUR), Upper River Region, the West Coast Region, and the CRR South.
Read the story in the Press article in the FOROYAA Newspaper: The ANR Platform country wide field trip, written by Muhammad Leroy A. Gomez
Radio Programmes with local communities
In addition, radio programmes with the local radios in the regions were conducted to raise awareness on the ANR Policy at community level. A team was designated to highlight the scope of the FFF and the ANR Policy. The talk shows were marked by several phone calls from the satellite communities with key issues regarding communal land use, forest land reserves, high cost of fertilizers, none participation of communities in fighting forest fires, seeds and equipment etc. The farmers clearly emphasized that they will only take ownership of the policy if involved in the implementation. A community leader echoed the dividing line between the farm and forest producer group would require little dialogue for the concerted management of the land resources. The timely delivery of farming equipment and seeds were concerns raised by almost all the callers who intervened in the program.
At district level, awareness raising meetings on the ANR Policy were conducted in August to disseminate the final version of the ANR policy.
Recommendations from the President of the ANR Platform
Members of the ANR Platform during the country trekkingThe President of the ANR Platform urged the team to maintain the momentum and work towards disseminating the policy as all the stakeholders consulted during the trip revealed that they are not in possession of the approved ANR copy. He urged for an immediate supply of the Policy particularly the pdf version to all the Governors, Directors of Agriculture and Forestry. Part of the recommendations included the following;
- The need to equally sensitize the national assembly members on the ANR Policy together with other senior stakeholders;
- Diversification of crops for sustainable land and forest management;
- ANR Platform should engage in other fund raising activities apart from FFF support;
- Provision of subventions by line Ministries annually to support the operations of the Platform;
- Integration of the Platform to the Sustainable Land Management Project (SLMP) Platform;
- Establishment of a small committee for fund raising activities.