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African Development Bank Boosts The Gambia's Agriculture with $16.08 Million Grant

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louis Buyisiwe

Mar 14, 2024

African Development Bank

"An aerial view of lush green farmlands in The Gambia, showcasing diverse crop fields under the bright African sun, symbolizing the growth and enhancement of agricultural productivity through the support of the African Development Bank's Agriculture and Food Security Project.
Gambian's innitiative to improve food security

In a significant move to strengthen The Gambia's Agriculture and Food Security Project, the African Development Bank Group's Board of Directors has sanctioned an additional $16.08 million grant. This funding, primarily sourced from the Global Agriculture and Food Security Project (GAFSP), aims to enhance the livelihoods and food security of the country's vulnerable populations.

Launched in 2021, the project focuses on the Central River, Upper River, North Bank, Lower River, and West Coast regions, promoting climate-resilient agriculture. The expansion includes increasing cultivation areas for essential crops such as groundnuts, maize, millet, cowpea, findi, and rice, thereby boosting food production and nutritional security.

The enhanced funding is set to elevate productivity, with notable increases in rice yields from 2.0 to 2.5 tonnes per hectare (t/ha) and maize from 1.8 to 2.0 t/ha. The initiative will now reach 18,000 small-scale farmers, half of whom are youth and over half are women, up from the initial 10,000 beneficiaries.

Moreover, the project pledges to improve the nutrition and health of over 200,000 school pupils by providing nutritious meals and deworming supplements. This holistic approach not only targets agricultural development but also focuses on social well-being, gender equality, and educational support.

The initial grant of $16 million by the African Development Bank Group in September 2021, coupled with $1.37 million from The Gambia's government, has already yielded impressive results. Beneficiaries have reported significant increases in poultry meat, vegetable production, and egg yields, contributing an estimated $750,000 in income for smallholder farmers and enhancing school enrolment rates through the Homegrown school feeding program.

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