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.
FASDEP has contributed to increasing agricultural productivity and production through enhanced management of 2,000 hectares of agricultural land, the development of an additional 275 hectares under tidal irrigation, the development of 320 hectares of upland soil and water conservation lands, the establishment of 66 hectares of community gardens, 15 hectares of school gardens, and the construction of 55 fish ponds, 35 small ruminant schemes, and 20 poultry schemes. FASDEP also contributed to the construction of 4 rural markets/market centers and the rehabilitation of 198 kilometers of feeder roads. To date, FASDEP has benefited over 107,000 people, of whom 83 percent are women.
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Official Project Documents:
- GAFSP Proposal
- Background documents: Signature Page for Proposal, Annexes, and Photos of Participants
- Cover Letter with Endorsements
- Agriculture and Food Security Policy
- Background documents: Nutritional Policy, Gender Policy, Education Policy, Employment Program, Trade Policy, and Youth Policy
- CAADP Compact
- Post Compact Investment Plan
- Business Communique
- CAADP Technical Review
- Background document: Preliminary Review