GCCI, as a lead implementer of the Public Private Producer Partnerships (4Ps) financing arrangement engaged Financial Services Providers on the Matching Grant window of the project to discuss risks in the sector, exploring financing arrangements and increased service coverage in rural areas.
The expected outcome of the roundtable discussion was to introduce the Roots Project to the Financial Services Provider and Equipment Service Providers as well as brief them on the 4Ps arrangements and Perspectives of FSPs to finance the beneficiaries of the project through a matching grant arrangement.
Baboucarr Saho, acting deputy Chief Executive Officer at GCCI said there is need for inclusion of the private sectors in the Roots project, adding that access to equipment, and finance remain a big challenge in the country as well commercial farming.
“We came to realize that in the absent of Agricultural input we will not able to attain food security as well as support small holders farmers,” he said.
According to him, there will be a matching grant arrangement put in place where farmers would identify equipment they need.
Alfu M. Sarr, a supplier described the project as important to them because 30 percent of it is meant for youth.
Mr Sarr added that it is important as farmers to see how they can commercialise their farming activities, noting that agriculture without mechanisation is poverty.
Alieu Mamour Jagne, Roots Project Director said the forum was their first engagement with suppliers.
He added that the project was launched by President Barrow on 9th February 2021 and expected to phase out in 2026.
He pointed out that the objective of the project funded by international partners and The Gambia government at the tune of 80 million US Dollars is to improve food security, nutrition and small holders farmers’ resilience to climate change as well to increase agricultural production and access to market to enhance food security, nutrition and resilience of family farm.
The target beneficiaries are over 30 districts in The Gambia; (9) in West Coast Region, 7 in North Bank Region, 6 in Lower River Region, 5 in Central River Region North and 5 in Central River Region South. He said district selection was based on poverty, vulnerability and remoteness. The project has three components such as Agricultural productivity adaptation to climate change, access to market and project management institutional development and citizen engagement.