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Food and Agriculture Sector Development Project (FASDEP)

$28 million to reduce household poverty, food insecurity, and malnutrition in three highly food-insecure regions.
Photo: Curt Carnemark


The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) classifies The Gambia as a Least Developed, Low Income Food Deficit Country, with 31.7% of the population living in extreme poverty. The agriculture sector provides employment for about three-quarters of the labor force and smallholder farmers supply about 90% of the domestically produced food. However, the sector produces low and unpredictable yields, is highly susceptibility to droughts and erratic climate patterns, and is essentially rain-fed, with only 3% of the arable land estimated to be under irrigation.


The Food and Agriculture Sector Development Project (FASDEP) reduces rural house-hold poverty, food insecurity, and malnutrition through increased agricultural production/productivity and commercialization. The project is expected to benefit 240,000 poor people of which about 60 percent will be women. The project supports agricultural infra-structure such as tidal irrigation, water retention facilities (dykes and spillways), and rural roads as well as activities to diversify and commercialize agriculture in aquaculture, small ruminants, poultry, and horticulture. It will increase the nutrition levels, food security, and incomes of vulnerable populations in Central River Region-North, Central River Region-South, Lower River Region, and West Coast Region through improved technical and organizational capacities of targeted stakeholders, community-based nutrition training programs to strengthen knowledge, skills, and approaches, and support to the school feeding program implemented by World Food Program. It also reduces risk and vulnerability to disasters such as drought and floods on a sustainable basis by improving community resilience and household coping strategies.

Project Status



  • The Gambia



Focus area

  • Fragility
  • Gender
  • Nutrition

Supervising entity

  • AfDB
  • FAO


The project is expected to benefit 240,000 poor people, of whom about 60 percent will be women. As of December 2019, that number is 182,645 people, of whom 47 percent are women. FASDEP also has supported 112 agro-enterprises and 14 Youth Agric Service Centers through the matching grants, helped create 12,450 jobs (directly and indirectly) through these schemes, constructed or rehabilitated 220 kilometers of roads, established 10 markets and 10 gram seed banks and supplied them with seed and cereals for food security and stock piling for emergency needs; financed 124 matching grants for production such as poultry and ruminants (61), agroprocessing (20) and production mechanization, and completed 29.5 hectares of school gardens (30 hectares targeted). As a result, 64,266 people received improved nutrition services and products (53 percent women) and wasting has reduced from 9.5 percent to 5.6 percent.