IFAD Grant to Boost Rice and Vegetable Production in The Gambia

Women in the rural area

Women in the rural area (Photo credit: IITA Image Library)


The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) will provide a US$20.28 million grant to the Republic of The Gambia to help improve livelihoods of smallholder farmers with a particular attention to rural women and youth in the country,” a press release from IFAD has revealed.







It is however not clear when the project will start.




According to the media dispatch, the financing agreement for the National Agriculture Land and Water Management Development Project was signed on Thursday 20th December 2012 by Abdou Kolley, Minister for Finance and Economic Affairs of the Republic of The Gambia and Kanayo F. Nwanze, President of IFAD.




“In The Gambia, agriculture is an important sector for the country’s economy, employing over 72 per cent of the population and contributing about 30 per cent to the gross domestic product. Most Gambians living in rural areas are extremely poor and depend on agriculture for their livelihoods. Women in particular, who make up a large proportion of this group, lack economic opportunities and access to productive resources like credit, land, skills and services.




Gambian woman and child.

Gambian woman and child. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


“The project will enhance rice and vegetable production nationwide through sustainable land and water management practices to help smallholder farmers increase their incomes. The project will increase the productivity of limited farm land and support improvements to infrastructure such as water and roads. It will strengthen farmers’ organizations to help commercialize their activities to boost household incomes,” the news release further noted.




“The project aims to transform the Gambian agricultural sector from simply subsistence farming to an increasingly efficient market system. It will contribute to the objectives of both the Gambia National Agricultural Investment Plan and Programme for Accelerated Growth and Employment.




The agricultural sector is one of the most important sectors of the Gambian economy, contributing about 32 percent of the gross domestic product, providing employment and income for 80% of the population, and accounting for 70 percent of the country’s foreign exchange earnings. It remains the prime sector to raise income levels for investments, to improve food security and reduce poverty levels. About 75 percent of a population of about 1.8 million make their living (directly/indirectly) from farming and live below the poverty line of US$1.5 a day.




Rural village in the back-country of The Gambia

Rural village in the back-country of The Gambia (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


“Co-financed by the government of The Gambia and the Islamic Development Bank, the project will be implemented by the Ministry of Agriculture of The Gambia. About 22,000 poor rural households, including 660 young rural women and men will directly benefit from the project.




“With this new project, IFAD will have financed 10 programmes and projects in The Gambia for a total investment of approximately $73.9 million benefitting 149,200 households since 1982.




By: Demba Kandeh









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22 thoughts on “IFAD Grant to Boost Rice and Vegetable Production in The Gambia

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