GAMBIA – The African Development Bank Group has approved an additional financial injection of US$16.08 million to boost the Agriculture and Food Security Project in Gambia.

This extension support was agreed during the Bank’s board meeting held on March 4, 2024, in Abidjan.

According to the board, the project seeks to promote the production of local climate-resistant food products in five targeted regions, namely Central River, Upper River, North Bank, Lower River and West Coast.   

As part of the objectives, the project will see the area under rice production increase from 3000 to 4500 hectares (ha), and that of mountain crops (peanuts, corn, millet, cowpea, findi) from 1500 to 3000 ha.

Given the increased support for inputs through additional financing, productivity is expected to increase significantly. Rice yields are estimated to increase from 2,000 to 2,500 tonnes per hectare (t/ha), while those of corn from 1,800 to 2,000 t/ha. 

Moreover, the project aims to directly impact the lives of smallholder farmers, with beneficiaries expected to soar from 10,000 to 18,000 individuals, encompassing a diverse demographic including 50% youth and 52% women.

The Food Security Project was approved on September 21, 2021, by the Board of Directors of the African Development Bank. 

During the approval, the Council awarded a grant of US$16 million through the Global Agriculture and Food Security Program while the Government of The Gambia added the support to the tune of US$1.37 million.

During the progress review last July, the report noted the progress of project implementation was deemed satisfactory by the Bank. According to the report, 63,936 people had benefited from the project (i.e. 40% of the planned target).

With renewed financial support, the Gambia Agriculture and Food Security Project continues to chart a transformative trajectory, poised to uplift communities and fortify resilience against food insecurity.

According to AfDB, The Global Agriculture and Food Security Program (GASFP), a multilateral fund that aims to improve the income and food security of poor populations in developing countries by increasing the volume and quality of investments made in the public and private sectors, is the main contributor to this new financial support for the project.

The main objective, AfDB added, is to increase food and nutritional security as well as the income of vulnerable households.

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