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Gambia (The)

11

Projects Includes planned, ongoing and closed projects

US$ 287.54 million

Total Project Cost

US$ 113.53 million

Total IFAD financing

195,069

Households impacted


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The Context

Stretching 450km inland along the Gambia river, The Gambia is surrounded by Senegal except for its 60km beachfront on the Atlantic Ocean.

The economy relies upon agriculture, tourism and remittances.  

Poverty and food insecurity are widespread, and nearly half its estimated 2 million people live in poverty. Forty per cent of inhabitants live in rural areas where 73.9 per cent live below the poverty line.

Over 60 per cent of Gambians depend on farming for their livelihood. Farmers and agricultural workers, especially women and young people, form a large part of the poor and extremely poor. Many are illiterate, and lack knowledge, skills, economic opportunities and access to productive resources such as credit, land ownership, and support services.

Weather-induced crop failures and shortages of cash often force farmers to sell part of their produce immediately after harvest, when prices are at their lowest, and buy grain at high prices during the hungry season (July–September). They are caught in a circle of low income, risk aversion and the use of low-output technologies

Farmers’ challenges include:

  • reliance on rainfed production;
  • depleted soils and climate change;
  • salt water incursion;
  • illiteracy, impeding adoption of improved technologies;
  • economic exclusion of youth and women;
  • poor access to good quality inputs and appropriate financial services; and
  • weak organization of farm-to-market value chains. 

Traditionally, women do not own or control land, yet are more than half of the agricultural labour force. They lead production of rice, vegetables, fruit and small livestock, without access to credit.

The Strategy

IFAD strategy in The Gambia is to contribute to the reduction of poverty, food insecurity, vulnerability and youth unemployment in rural communities. Particular attention is paid to gender, nutrition, and climate change,

Activities focus on agricultural and rural development and aim to open up on- and off-farm employment opportunities for young people, women and men.

We work with traditional kafos (collectively run village groups) to enable IFAD-supported projects to reach out to the most vulnerable households.

Key activities include:

  • supporting rice and vegetable value chain development, including strengthening the capacity of farmers, community organisations and their members;
  • strengthening access to markets for agricultural products; and
  • adding value to rice and vegetable production by  strengthening value chain participants, business development, and through a Capital Investment Stimulation Fund.

IFAD also participates in development initiatives designed to make land and water supplies more resilient to climate change, notably for producing rice and vegetables. 

Country Facts

Over 60 per cent of Gambians depend on agriculture for their livelihood.

Women are over half the agricultural labour force and produce around 40 per cent of total agricultural output.


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Country documents

Gambia (The): Country strategic opportunities programme (2019-2024)

Type: Country Strategic Opportunities Programme

Projects and Programmes

PLANNED Under design after concept note approval

APPROVED Approved by the Executive Board or IFAD President

SIGNED Financing agreements signed

ONGOING Under implementation

CLOSED Completed/closed projects

No matching projects were found
No matching projects were found
No matching projects were found

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Related news

IFAD President to meet head of state and ministers in The Gambia to discuss investments in smallholder agriculture, women and youth

February 2015 - NEWS
Rome, 14 August 2014 – The President of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), Kanayo F. Nwanze, will arrive in the Republic of The

Government of The Gambia and United Nations agency IFAD to review findings of evaluation of their country programme

March 2016 - NEWS
When: 3 December 2015 Where: Kairaba Hotel, Banjul Rome, 20 November 2015 – On 3 December 2015, the Independent Office of Evaluation (IOE) of the International

Evaluation of IFAD's programme in The Gambia points to good project design but some pitfalls in targeting populations

February 2016 - NEWS
Development projects carried out in The Gambia by the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) – the UN agency specializing in rural development

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Related stories

Mitigating the impact of COVID-19 on small-scale agriculture in The Gambia

May 2020 - STORY
The COVID-19 pandemic has shown us just how vulnerable agricultural value chains are to external shocks – and how much more we need to do to build the sector’s resilience.

Community gardens pave the way for climate-resilient agriculture in Gambia

December 2019 - STORY
Climate change is affecting global food systems in such a way that those who already suffer from hunger and undernutrition are also the most vulnerable to the added threats from climate change.  

Restoring mangroves is saving rural communities in Gambia

August 2019 - STORY
Mangroves are one of the world's most biodiverse ecosystems and play an essential role to ecological balance and community livelihoods. But in many areas across West Africa, these wildlife-rich wetlands are under threat.

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Related publications

Investing in rural people in The Gambia

June 2019

Since 1982, IFAD has supported 10 programmes and projects in The Gambia totalling US$93 million and directly benefiting more than 155,000 rural households. 

Grant Results Sheet: FundaK - The Outreach Project: Expanding and scaling up innovative financial inclusion and graduation strategies and tools in Africa

May 2018
The Outreach Project was implemented in selected African countries (Gambia, Mozambique, and Tanzania) and aimed to improve the financia inclusion strategies of ongoing IFAD-funded operations by transferring and adapting innovative solutions, tools and methodologies previously tested in various countries of the Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) region.

ASAP The Gambia Factsheet

May 2016
Strengthening Climate Resilience of the National Agricultural Land and Water Management Development Project (CHOSSO) – National Agricultural Land and Water Management Development Project (NEMA)

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Related videos

The Gambia: IFAD invests in rural women

June 2018 - VIDEO
Almost half the world's agricultural workers are women, yet they own less land than men. Farmer Awa Jagne speaks about how access to land has changed her life.

The Gambia: Reclaiming the Land

December 2012 - VIDEO

In The Gambia, women often farm on degraded, unproductive land. The more fertile land is usually reserved for men. But things are changing.