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Gambia launches multi-million dollar agriculture project

The Gambian government recently launched a National Food and Agriculture Sector Development Project (FASDEP) through the Ministry of Agriculture and the Global Agricultural and Food Security Programme (GAFSP) at the Kairaba Beach Hotel in Gambia

The US$28mn project, which has been financially backed by the Gambian government and the GAFSP, with support from the African Development Bank (AfDB), is expected to push agricultural production and prevent poverty in the country.

The new country representative of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation in The Gambia (FAO), Katepa Kalala, emphasised at the launch that the 2003 Maputo Commitment by African Union members urged for countries to distribute at least 10 per cent of their funds to agriculture.

According to the minister of agriculture, Solomon Owen, the levels of poverty in Gambia have been a contributing factor to “unacceptable levels of food insecurity”, with malnutrition more evident among children under five years.

“Two and half hectares of ponds with spawning tanks will be constructed within each agricultural region for 500 women farmers in groups of 10 and on demand-driven basis,” Owen stated.