The Gambia

IFAD Asset Request Portlet


Gambia (The)


Projects Includes planned, ongoing and closed projects

US$ 256.12 million

Total Project Cost

US$ 113.53 million

Total IFAD financing


Households impacted

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.

Country documents

Related Assets

Gambia (The): Country strategic opportunities programme (2019-2024) Type: Country Strategic Opportunities Programme

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

Related news

Related Assets

Low-cost mobile remittances to boost rural development in The Gambia

December 2022 - NEWS
IFAD, APS International, MFS Africa and QMoney, are working together to slash international remittances transfer costs and improve access to related services in remote areas of The Gambia, creating new socioeconomic opportunities that will boost overall rural economic development.

Digitalization of remittances: an opportunity for financial and digital inclusion - a specific country analysis on The Gambia

June 2022 - NEWS
On the occasion of the International Day of Family Remittances (16 June), IFAD will launch its new MobileRemit Africa report, which includes a specific country analysis about the Gambia.

The French Development Agency and the International Fund for Agricultural Development join hands to promote food security and sustainable agriculture in the Republic of The Gambia

November 2021 - NEWS
On 1 November 2021, the French Development Agency (AFD) and IFAD will sign a €7 million grant agreement to support the implementation of the project “Resilience of Organizations for Transformative Smallholder Agriculture” (ROOTS). The project aims to improve food security, nutrition and smallholder farmers’ resilience to climate change in The Gambia.

Related stories and blogs

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Funding resilience in The Gambia

December 2022 - STORY
In The Gambia, the second phase of IFAD’s Rural Poor Stimulus Facility helps vulnerable communities get back on their feet after the COVID-19 pandemic.

The future is rural: Meet the young people determined to build a better future at home

August 2022 - STORY
Rural youth around the world face a dilemma: their roots are in their rural homes, but it’s often hard to build a future there. Meet some of the young people IFAD is helping to devise solutions to the challenges they see around them and build more resilient futures.

In The Gambia, targeted COVID-19 support helps small businesses flourish

March 2022 - STORY
Back in early 2020, when the first waves of COVID-19 were spreading around the world, IFAD launched the RPSF as a multi-donor initiative to sustain rural people around the world during the pandemic. With the RPSF’s help, many were able to start small businesses – and today, those businesses are sustaining local economies and building resilience.

Related publications

Related Assets

RemitSCOPE: The Gambia Country Diagnostic

May 2023
The Gambia country diagnostic has been prepared in accordance with the PRIME Africa goals, to provide more in-depth analysis and additional evidence for the areas of action identified in the country road map.

Expanding digital remittances and microfinance products towards financial inclusion in The Gambia

March 2023
This PRIME Africa project enhances the financial resilience and economic empowerment of remittance families through cost‑effective, digitalized remittance flows and innovations for financial inclusion.

Enhancing women’s resource rights for improving resilience to climate change

November 2021
This brief summarizes relevant findings from socio-legal analyses, combining the review of key legal and policy documents and literature on existing barriers to the recognition of women’s land rights.

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.

Related videos

Related Assets

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.