NFPG treasurer urge members to be law-abiding citizen

By: Samba Jawo

The treasurer at the National Farmers Platform of The Gambia (NFPG), has called on the members of the platform to adhere to government’s recent plastic ban and promote tree-planting initiatives across the country.

Alhaji Ebrima Beyai was speaking during a recent nationwide tour with the officials of the Ministry of Environment, Climate Change, Water, Forestry and Wildlife.

He emphasized that food self-sufficiency cannot be achieved meaningfully if ‘our environment’ especially the forest cover is severely affected.

The best way to achieve food security Beyai went on, is to secure environmental protection and these includes tree planting exercises, environmental cleanliness among others.

He explained that is why his platform was keen in the restoration of the country’s lost forest cover, adding that the platform over the years has collaborated with the Department of Forestry and local communities from various regions, notably North Bank Region, Central River Region north and south, and in Lower River Region respectively. “The exercise was carried out with funding from the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations, through the Forest and Farm Facility (FFF) Project.”

Elaborating further, he disclosed that the platform had also signed an agreement with FAO in their bid to implement a series of activities, including tree planting exercise at the NFPG targeted pilot areas in North Bank Region, which is one of the most affected areas in terms of deforestation in the country.

Deforestation, according to him, remains a major concern in the North Bank Region as even firewood to cook is a problem due to its scarcity.

“The platform has also witnessed the successful handing over of community forests parks to local communities across provincial regions of the country for proper management. This was why the programme was going through the communities so that the community forest park ownership would be given to villagers.”

While elaborating on the importance of tree planting, Beyai affirmed that tree planting is one thing, but protecting it from bush fires and wild animals is another.

He thus challenged the communities to take ownership of their forest. “On behalf of the platform president Mr. Mboge, I implored you all to live up to expectation as described in the agreement document in our efforts to protect the communities forest parks and promotes afforestation.”

He went on to thank the government of The Gambia for what he called creating a conducive environment for the private sectors to operate in the country.