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The FAO in collaboration with the Food Technology Services under DoA on Thursday 4th May 2017 commemorates the International Year of Pulses. The event which was held at the Kanifing Municipal Council was grazed by dignitaries from the FAO, the Ministry and Department of Agriculture, Regional directorates, farmers, school children and a cross section of the society.

Mr. Sariyang Jorbateh Deputy Director, DoA served as the master of the ceremonies. Mr Jorbateh acknowledged the presence of different dignitaries for their participation. He said the IYP is an annual activity celebrated by the FAO and development partners Worldwide due to the importance Pulses played in our diet and health as a whole.

The Mayor of Kanifing Municipal Council Yankuba Colley, in his welcoming address expressed delight for choosing his Municipality as the venue for this year’s celebration. He said the occasion is important, as pulses are important for food security. He noted that his Municipality is not a key grower of pulses due to lack of space but because of high population, they are the highest consumers of the commodity. On that note he said, KMC becomes the greatest importer of most pulses grown from other regions of the country. The Mayor called for the cultivation of beans because it improves our health and generate income for farmers, traders and other operators in the value Chain. He also urged for more cultivation noting that the Climate change even though is frustrating efforts on other crops but has less impact on pulses.

The FAO country representative in giving her remarks expressed delight for the commemoration noting that the IYP was declared at the UN 68 session in 2016 as a worthy event. Dr. Katepa Kalala said Pulses such as beans are very important diets and are important for food and nutrition security particularly for regions threaten by malnutrition including the Gambia and elsewhere in the developing countries.

The Director General DOA Mr. Falalo Touray in giving the keynote address thanked the FAO for its continuous contribution to agricultural transformation. Adding that, they have been working with the Ministry on promoting food security in the Gambia.

Director Touray disclosed that an Urban Agriculture Directorate was established to oversee Horticultural production in the Kanifing Municipality and a national sensitization on pulses is underway to sensitize farmers to adopt the culture of growing pulses and promote value chain addition.

A farmer representative Mariatou Mass pointed out that, cultivating beans has been an old practice and appealed to the government to give more support to its production.

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