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Gambia steals the show at Global Agric confab

Mar 11, 2020, 1:04 PM | Article By: Momodou Kanteh,MoA Information Officer

The Ministry of Agriculture recently came out outstanding among the 10 countries in Africa that benefited from agricultural projects funded by Global Agriculture and Food Security Programme (GAFSP) and supervised by the African Development Bank (AfDB).

The annual GAFSP portfolio review meeting was held in Lusaka, Zambia.

The GAFSP funded The Gambia Food and Agriculture Sector Development Project (FASDEP) through a grant of USD 26.6 million and during the review in Lusaka, the FASDEP was categorised as non-Potentially Problematic Project (NPPP) and stands out as one among the closing projects that completed most of the targeted intervention activities and would not return the much needed undisbursed grant funds to GAFSP. As a result of the impressive performance of The Gambia FASDEP, the permanent secretary was given an award and The Gambia was selected to host the next review meeting in 2021.

According to officials of the Ministry of Agriculture, the main objective of FASDEP was to reduce rural household poverty, food insecurity and malnutrition through increased agricultural production, productivity and commercialisation. FASDEP intervened in land development, construction / rehabilitation of feeder roads, and construction of livestock markets and stalls linking producers to markets.

Under component two, FASDEP supported 29 Aquaculture schemes (a total of 100 fish ponds), 31 small ruminant fattening, 20 small ruminant breeding, 10 commercial poultry for FBOs and 15 for schools, supported 60 backyard poultry farmers with improved housing, 27 women gardens, 60 school gardens and over 100 agro-enterprises benefited from the matching grant.

Under component three, in collaboration with WFP, FASDEP funded the school feeding programme in 101 schools in Regions 2 and 3; and through NaNA, the project supported the review and funded the printing of nutrition education materials now being used in schools across the country, as well as supplied assorted antibiotics to the central medical stores for the treatment of malnourished children. The project supported the establishment of 10 seed and cereal banks and four regional stock piles for emergency use.

In a related development, The Gambia was awarded USD 16 million grant by GAFSP under the special call for proposals (the 5th call) in 2019, also to be supervised by the AfDB and to be implemented in collaboration with World Food Programme (WFP) and other stakeholders.

The delegation to Lusaka comprised Momodou Mbye Jabang, the permanent secretary at the Ministry of Agriculture, Kebba L. Jarju FASDEP Project director and other officials.