NFTR President Takes Journalists Through ROOTS Agricultural Interventions
By Adama Jallow
The President of the Network of Financial and Tax Reporters, (NFTR) Abdoulie Nyockeh on Friday engaged journalists from both the electronic and print media houses on a day-long sensitization program on the interventions and aims and objectives of the Resilience of Organizations for Transformative Smallholder Agricultural (ROOTS) project in The Gambia under the Ministry of Agriculture.
A sensitization program organized by the ROOTS project in collaboration with the Network for Financial and Tax Reports was held at the NAQQA conference Centre in Kanifing.
The project which is under the Agricultural Ministry has been in existence in the Gambia since it was launched in February 2021 with a budget estimated plan of $80 million has been operating in 39 districts within the 5 regions with the quest to improve food security, nutrition, and resilience of smallholder farmers to climate change which also calls for transparency and accountability.
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The agricultural project also aims to increase agricultural productivity and access to the market for enhanced food security, nutrition, and resilience of family farms and farmer organizations with components of project management, institutional development, and citizen engagement.
The project is also since its inception been intervening in vegetable and rice production with subcomponents on infrastructure development and management, agricultural service providers, climate-resilient value chains, and market linkages.
In his remarks, NFTR President Abdoulie Nyocke informed journalists that the idea of establishing the NFTR-Gambia chapter emanated after weeklong intensive media training for 72 media practitioners and communicators in the continent organized by Tax Administration forum secretariat ATAF in Kigali, Rwanda in 2019 which identified ways through which Tax Authority could work with the media in making citizens more active in terms of holding states accountable.
Nyockeh added that the primary objective of the network is to ensure transparency and accountability between the Tax Authority, the business community, and the government.
He said the event was also meant to equip journalists with first-hand information on the functions and current implementation stages of the ROOTS project throughout the country and to further deepen media understanding of the mode of operation of the roots project to enable journalists to be more responsive with responsible journalism of accurate reporting about the project.
He pointed out that since the network formation, they have implemented a series of training and sensitization with the Gambia Revenue Authority, the Gambia Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the Gambia Bankers Association, and the Gambia Financial Intelligent Unit, aimed to raise more awareness about the devastating effect affecting the society.
According to presentations made, it was also revealed that the Gambia is one of the poorest countries in the world which faces significant challenges related to food insecurity, malnutrition, migration, unemployment, and climate change, adding that rural poverty, food insecurity, and malnutrition are closely associated with low agricultural productivity