Former Consultant for the National Agricultural Land and Water Management Development Project (NEMA), Yaya “Menteng” Sanyang, has warned that poor planning and implementation of the ROOTS Project could cause the collapse of the initiative as its predecessor; the NEMA project.
According to Sanyang, poor project planning and implementation were the variables that led to the collapse of the NEMA project, and warned that the same factors could lead to the failure of the $80M ROOTS project.
ROOTS was launched in 2021 to promote food and nutrition security as well as to strengthen the resilience of small-holder farmers to climate change in The Gambia.
“As a former International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) national consultant for the NEMA project in 2014 and 2015, I can comfortably say that poor project planning and implementation arethe key factors that led to the failure of the 65 million dollar-NEMA project and I observed that the 80 million dollar ROOTS project is also not properly planned,” Sanyang, who is also the lawmaker for Latrikunda Sabiji, said in an exclusive interview with The Voice following his return from a week-long supervisory tour with the agriculture committee of the legislature.
The erstwhile consultant asserted that ROOTS is on the path to failure unless swift measures are adopted. He contended that a lack of coordination in the project’s implementation has led to duplication of efforts and wastage of resources.
The LK NAM contended that both the NEMA and ROOTS projects have not been tailored to suit the realities of Gambian farmers and the country’s agriculture sector.
“Yes, it is true both projects were affected by the global financial crisis but all that is due to lack of proper planning and implementation. NEMA has failed and thus we cannot remedy that but I would advise ROOTS, which is under implementation, to improve project planning and coordination. And, the Ministry of Agriculture should make sure all future agricultural development projects are carefully planned and implemented with the active participation of local farmers and stakeholders,” the former consultant advised ROOTS project coordinators.
Sanyang emphasized that all agricultural development projects should be well-coordinated with each other and with other relevant programs in order to avoid the waste of resources.
“Another important thing for a successful implementation of a project is to improve transparency and accountability. All projects should be implemented in a transparent and accountable manner with regular monitoring and evaluation to ensure that they are meeting their objectives,” he stressed.