The Gambia government has signed a grant of $40 million with the World Bank to boost agriculture in the country.

The agreement is under The Gambia Inclusive and Resilient Agricultural Value Chain Development (GIRAV) project. 

Minister of Finance and Economic Affairs Mambury Njie said the project will help smallholder farmers and benefits the agriculture sector. 

“This particular intervention is timely and very important to the government’s agricultural transformation agenda. 

“The Gambia Inclusive and Resilience Agricultural Value Chain Development Project focuses on promoting private investment to target value chain activities and improve the business climate. 

“It will also help in building the required synergies that will address the structural transformational challenges in the agricultural sector,” he said.

Minister of Agriculture Amie Fabureh added: “I want to advise all of us that we will be implementing the project to see the Gambia and not our personal interests. 

“Let’s all tighten our belts and double our efforts to ensure that we are self-sufficient in food production, especially rice which happens to be our staple food. 

“A lot of money is spent to import rice into the country, so we should implement such a project accordingly to stop that.”

The World Bank Country Representative to The Gambia Feyi Boroffice said the project aimed to promote inclusive, resilience and competitive agricultural value chain with specific focus on smallholders farmers and agribusinesses in The Gambia.

“We are going to be focusing on rice production to support the country’s increasing importation of rice. 

“In horticulture, we want to specifically focus on vegetables for urban centres and export. We are also looking at cashew, domestic processing and export development, and also poultry for urban centres in conjunction with maize production,” Feyi Boroffice said.

Reporting by Adama Makasuba

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