The Gambia’s National Assembly Select Committee held a briefing session at Tamala Hotel Resort organised by the Resilience of Organisations for Transformative Smallholder Agriculture Projects (ROOTS) to provide a project update and to discuss the challenges that they face. The breakfast briefing was held on 30th July 2022 and featured the Deputy Permanent Secretary from the Ministry of Agriculture.
By National Assembly Select Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development
In my capacity as Chairperson of the National Assembly Select Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development, I feel greatly honoured and privileged to participate in this very important briefing session on the ROOTS Project, and implementation of the Agricultural Value Chain Interaction Platforms (AVIPs), organised by Roots Project Coordinating Unit and West Africa Rural Foundation.
Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen,
In its efforts to bring about meaningful development of the agricultural sector, the Ministry of Agriculture has always been in close collaboration with the Select Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development. The Select Committee is mandated by Section 109 (2) and (3) of the 1997 Constitution as well as Standing Order 95 of the National Assembly to investigate or inquire into the activities and administration of Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAS) under its purview.
The committee comprises twelve Honourable Members, supported in their operations by staff of the National Assembly Service, who provide technical support and guidance. Since the inauguration of the Sixth Legislature, the select committee has tasked itself with complementing the efforts of the Ministry of Agriculture in ensuring food security in the country.
This undoubtedly calls for concerted efforts by all stakeholders and I am pleased to assure you of a fruitful partnership with the National Assembly Select Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development, which shall continue to perform oversight on the Ministry, Departments and Agencies, as well as conduct oversight on projects and institutions within its remit.
We are aware that, the Project is going to be implemented in 39 Districts across the 5 Regions of the Country and will benefit 320,000 persons drawn from 40,000 households for a period of six (6) years and the Committee wanted to see this realized within the fifth year of the Project or less.
Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen;
The National Assembly Select Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development shall cooperate with the Ministry of Agriculture, Government Departments, and Agencies (MDAs) responsible for Agriculture and Rural Development. For effective execution of our functions, our Committee’s mandate includes:
1. Receiving and reviewing Bills, policies, strategic plans and all other instruments relating to agriculture and rural development and offer advice on improving their text and implementing mandates.
2. Receiving and reviewing reports and proposals on agriculture and rural development operations, associated challenges, and the way forward.
3. Receiving and reviewing budget proposals and activities of MDAS responsible for agriculture and rural development.
4. Receiving and reviewing agreements relating to agriculture and rural development for advice before ratification.
5. Monitoring all activities and projects connected with Agriculture and rural development, by weighing achievements against expected outcomes and proffering advice or legislative support whenever the need arises.
6. Giving periodic and or annual reports on the state of Agriculture and Rural Development to the National Assembly of The Gambia.
Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen,
On behalf of my fellow Members of the National Assembly Select Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development, and indeed on my own behalf, I would like to seize this opportunity to express sincere thanks and appreciation to the Ministry of Agriculture and its partners for inviting us to this historic briefing session.