IFAD Asset Request Portlet




Projects Includes planned, ongoing and closed projects

US$ 62.67 million

Total Project Cost

US$ 27.26 million

Total IFAD financing


Households impacted

The Context

With just 1.7 million people, Gabon is a sparsely populated, highly-urbanised country located between Cameroon and Congo on the Gulf of Guinea.

Political instability has followed disputed elections in August 2016.

The economy depends heavily upon exports of oil and manganese. The country’s 267,667 square kilometres are largely forested. In 2013, only 13 per cent of Gabonese lived in rural areas.

Forestry and farming are relatively under-developed, contributing just five per cent of GDP, yet agriculture employs about 40 per cent of the rural population.

Farming is dominated by an estimated 70,000 small family subsistence farms. Run mainly by older people, they were estimated to average just 0.20 hectares in 2012.

Farm output is insufficient to meet domestic demand, and an estimated 60 per cent of food, especially cereals and meat, are imported.

According to one estimate, 30 per cent of Gabonese live in poverty.

Surveys in 2013 to help design a human development strategy classified around 95,000 households as economically weak. The rate of poverty rate in rural areas, at 45 per cent, was more than twice the 20 per cent recorded in urban areas.

The plight of rural poor people is made worse by limited access to basic social and public services, including health care, clean water and electricity. 

The Strategy

In Gabon, IFAD loans support the implementation of policies and strategies that help poor farmers and rural people improve their livelihoods and food security.

Our priority is the development of rural institutions and economies, and we target help to smallholder producers and those most vulnerable to poverty, especially women.

We contribute to curing poverty by helping design appropriate policies and projects, and by sharing knowledge. We aim to mobilize resources from other partners too, including local communities, national Government, the private sector, banks and other donors, and to achieve the most appropriate public policies.

Our priority activities include:

  • developing value chains for bananas, cassava and peanuts which all have significant market potential, thereby benefiting poor rural people;
  • strengthening the capacity of smallholders and smallholder organizations involved in these value chains; and
  • reinforcing the capacity of those providing services to rural communities.

Country Facts

Agriculture employs about 40 per cent of Gabon’s rural population, but contributes just 5 per cent of GDP. Only 0.7 per cent of the government budget is invested in agricultural development.

Gabon is exceptionally urbanised. By 2013 only 13 per cent of Gabonese lived in rural areas, down from 20 per cent in 2000.

Around 30 per cent of Gabonese are estimated to live in poverty.

Since 1993, IFAD has supported 2 programmes in Gabon totalling US$20.4 million, benefiting 8,600 rural households.

Country documents

Related Assets

Country Strategy Note Type: Country strategy note (CSN)
Region: West and Central Africa
Country Strategy Note- 2020-2022 Type: Country strategy note (CSN)
Region: West and Central Africa

Country Experts

Projects and Programmes

Projects Browser

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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Call for proposals: Grant to strengthen the supply of improved seeds and improved PPP in Central Africa (SISCA)

August 2019 - NEWS
This is a Call for Proposals to identify the recipient of a three-year grant financed by IFAD for a total amount of up to US$3 million.

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Scaling up note: Gabon

November 2016
Rural development in Gabon depends largely on growth in the agro-sylvo-pastoral subsector, but the development of the country’s agricultural potential remains incipient. The various strategies adopted by the Government since independence have not succeeded in revitalizing the sector. Currently the agriculture sector employs about 40 per cent of the country’s rural population, although it contributes just 5 per cent of GDP and represents just 0.7 per cent of the government budget. Agricultural land occupies 20 per cent (5.2 million hectares) of the country’s territory, contrasting with the small share of sector activity taking place on less than 10 per cent of arable land. The rural population, which accounted for 20 per cent of the Gabonese people in 2000, is falling steadily as the urban population grows, and represented just 13 per cent of the population in 2013.

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