EU, FAO validate baseline survey to tackle poverty in rural Gambia


By Isatou Jawara The EU and the FAO Tuesday validated a draft baseline survey designed to fight poverty in rural communities in The Gambia. The deputy director of the National Disaster Management Agency, (NDMA) Serign Modou Joof, said the report, which focuses on the project Agriculture for Economic Growth, Food Security and Nutrition and Migration Flows in the Gambia, was funded by the EU, and is intended to look at three objectives to increase agricultural productivity diversification and access to food which will strengthen capacities of farmers and extension workers to enhance the quality of selected agricultural crops and livestock services. Attended by senior staff of the agriculture ministry, the four-year project is being implemented by the FAO in three regions of the country, which remains vulnerable to youth migration and food security. The deputy director said The Gambia is considered as one of the least developed and it is highly vulnerable to drought, floods and about 25% of the population also vulnerable to food insecurity. “The project’s monitoring and evaluation plan is closely linked to each (objective) of the log frame and includes indicators of achievement and means of verification. The Baseline Survey is an early element in the monitoring and evaluation plan and uses the log frame structure to systematically assess the circumstances in which the project commences. “The projects are designed to deliver measurable results, and a good baseline survey must answer the counterfactual, so as to measure and distinguish those results from other variables. It helps to determining what variables to measure, i.e., specifying the substantive content of the study.” Mr Dexton Sexstone, the EU programme manager said the EU is helping the country with 20.5 million euros from its development fund for a large agriculture and food security project, which includes school meals programme and disaster risk management to mitigate migration. He said the goal is to create growth and employment opportunities in particular for women and youth. “We are doing this through improved agricultural productivity as well as access to food, while the same time increasing vulnerable small holders’ participation in value chains. Dexton said the programme also recognises the need for enhanced information systems and crises management and prevention to build resilience. “In doing so the programme is expected to mitigate migration flows to the EU. The project intervention has been designed in a way to take account the potential the agriculture sector offer for inclusive growth, improved food security and poverty reduction,” the EU official explicates.]]>