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City of Banjul
Sunday, September 20, 2020

Ifad’s total aid to Gambia $73.9 million

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Speaking at a ministerial meeting with the president of IFAD who is in the country for a two-day official visit at the Atlantic Hotel in Banjul yesterday, he stated: “The history of Ifad’s partnership in The Gambia extends over 30 years, dating back to 1982. During this period, Ifad has supported 10 multi-million dollar projects in rural Gambia, starting with the co-financed Jahally and Pacharr Small Holder Irrigation Project. This comes down to the most recent innovative Nema project all for a total financing of 73.9 million dollars and directly benefitting over 149,200 rural households. Ifad’s recent strategic project interventions also focus on the strengthening of farmer and community-based organisations to enhance institutional and human empowerment. Ifad’s approach to the development of the agriculture sector is scaling up of proven strategies. As a result of this, a new project known in the Mandinka language Nema which means prosperity has been scaled up across the country. This project is expected to develop 2000 hectares of tidal irrigation fields facilitating year round rice production. It will also support the establishment of 60 small and medium enterprises to serve as actors in the agricultural value chain.”

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Meanwhile, Kanayo Nwanze, the president of Ifad who spoke to journalists at the Coco Ocean Hotel on Wednesday said: “This is an official visit in response to the invitation by the president of the Republic of The Gambia. I am delighted that I am able to visit officially for the first time to this country. First, is to have interactions with the president and the vice-president as well as to convey our full support to the development plans particularly in the area of agriculture. We want to give our support to the president in his Vision 2016 which aims to ensure that The Gambia is sufficient in rice production. We also want to lend our support to the National Agricultural Investment Plan of The Gambia. As you know Ifad has been working and supporting The Gambia since 1982 and I think it is just proper for us to again insist on the centrality of agriculture in The Gambia because it has an agricultural based economy. I cannot disclose all the topics to be discussed but essentially Ifad invests in rural people and our message is very simple. If you want to achieve inclusive sustainable development, you have to invest in the rural areas. You have to invest in rural transformation because these areas are central to overall national development. The Gambia import 50% of its food which means it only produces 50% and if you want to grow your economy and create opportunities for small producers who make the majority of the farmers in this country to have access to inputs, access to land and access to financial services.” 

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