WB prepares to inject US$40m in Gambia’s Agriculture

Oct 12, 2021, 12:34 PM | Article By: Modou Kanteh  Information Officer MoA

Plans are in high gear between officials from the Gambia and World Bank to fund Gambia Inclusive and Resilience Agriculture Value Chain Development Project (GIRAV) to the tune of US$40 million.

The project would be exclusively funded by World Bank under the IDA grant. 

The minister for Agriculture Hon. Amie Fabureh in a virtual statement to officials from both sides said her ministry recognises the importance of the agricultural sector as the economic growth pillars for sustainable rural development and wealth generation in The Gambia.  

“I am sure that you will all agree with me that agricultural development and modernisation remain the gateway for reducing poverty, creating employment and in rural Gambia and more importantly, addressing food and nutrition insecurity,” the minister said.

The minister pointed out that the GIRAV project articulated her ministry’s policies and strategies. She expressed her appreciation to World Bank for supporting the Ministry of Agriculture to actualise its policies and strategies which the minister said aims at increasing food and nutrition security, creating employment and reducing poverty among communities in The Gambia. 

 “I am fully aware that the challenges facing the agricultural sector are multiple, diverse and complex,” Hon Fabureh said.

She said these challenges have been further amplified by the negative effects of climate change and the threat it poses to livelihoods. She said Gambia is among the countries that are most vulnerable to the effects of climate change. In recognition of these undeniable facts, she said her ministry is fully committed in supporting and promoting initiatives for climate change adaptation and resilience as indicated in component two of GIRAV project. 

According to the minister, the agriculture sector also recognises the importance and potential of sustainable agricultural value chain development in fostering growth of the agricultural sector. She said her ministry would continue to prioritise investments in agricultural land and infrastructure development, agricultural machinery, post-harvest and processing equipment, storage facilities and related value addition and market access initiatives across the country. 

Hon. Fabureh reminded the team that the GIRAV project specifically targets women and youths for effective and profitable participation in five priority areas, namely, rice, vegetable, cashew, mango and poultry value chains. She said these areas are relevant to Gambia development strategy as enshrined in the National Development Plan 2018 – 2021.

“Knowing full well that women are at the heart of operations in rice and vegetable value chains in The Gambia,… we will ensure that they have the requisite capacities and resources to improve their lives and livelihood skills,’ Minister Fabureh said.

The minister for agriculture thanked World Bank officials for their support to The Gambia particularly the agriculture sector.