The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) will provide a $20.28 million grant to the Republic of The Gambia to help improve livelihoods of smallholder farmers with particular attention to rural women and youth in the country.
The financing agreement for the National Agriculture Land and Water Management Development Project was signed by Abdou Kolley, Minister for Finance and Economic Affairs of the Republic of The Gambia, and Kanayo 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.
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' organisations to help commercialize their activities to boost household incomes.
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.