- The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) has signed a grant agreement of US$8 million with the Republic of The Gambia to improve the production and marketability of livestock and horticulture products, specifically targeting rural women and youth nationwide.
The grant agreement was signed yesterday in Rome by Mod K. Ceesay, Director of Loans and Dept Management, Ministry of Finance and Economic Affairs of the Republic of The Gambia, and Kanayo F. Nwanze, President of IFAD.
Currently, the IFAD country programme in The Gambia focuses on promoting environmentally sound staple foods and improving access to microfinance services for small-scale rural producers. This new project, on livestock and horticulture development, will concentrate on increasing food security in the country by boosting production of vegetables and livestock, and improving access to markets for farmers to sell their products. The project will help ease the workload for women by improved access to water and fuelwood.
The overall goal of the project is to reduce rural poverty and improve livelihoods nationwide, more specifically to support rural women and youth to achieve greater food security. Their production capacity will be strengthened in order to increase the productivity and marketability of vegetable and livestock production. For instance, the project will help rehabilitate and modernize gardens operated by women groups and create experimental gardens for youth. In line with the government’s MDGs priorities, the project also aims to increase awareness on gender, equity, health and environmental issues.
Approximately 10,400 small-scale rural producers, mostly women (73 percent) and young people (27 percent), will benefit from the project.
To date IFAD has funded 9 rural development projects and programmes in The Gambia for a total of $53,60 million which is directly benefiting almost 120 000 households.
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