WASHINGTON, November 24, 2021– The World Bank Board today approved $40 million from the International Development Association (IDA)* to promote the development of inclusive, resilient, and competitive agricultural value chains, with specific focus on smallholder farmers and agribusinesses in The Gambia.
The Gambia Inclusive and Resilient Agricultural Value Chain Development Project (GIRAV) will promote the development of key priority agricultural value chains with strong growth potential in the country through a combination of soft and hard investments aimed at strengthening production capacity, creating opportunities for complementary private sector-led investments in agribusiness, and development of agricultural small and medium enterprises (SMEs).
“The Gambia can transition out of fragility only by addressing constraints on development in key economic sectors such as agriculture. The project will support the government efforts to boost commercial agriculture by investing in enabling agribusiness environment and mobilizing private investment through a dedicated matching grant mechanism,” said Feyi Boroffice, World Bank Resident Representative in The Gambia.
The project addresses significant challenges to developing agriculture and agribusiness in The Gambia, including lack of an enabling environment for agribusiness development, low productivity, weak access to markets, and lack of quality, sanitary, and phytosanitary control systems.
“GIRAV will promote, in an inclusive way, the transition from a subsistence-oriented agriculture to a climate-resilient and market-oriented agriculture driven by agribusiness firms that can provide the leadership to integrate smallholders in organized and efficient value chains,” said Aifa Fatimata Ndoye Niane, Senior Agriculture Economist and Project Task Team Leader.
The project is expected to directly benefit some 50,000 farmers and at least 10 SMEs. At least 50 percent of the beneficiaries will be women, and 30 percent will be youth. Other direct beneficiaries include the public institutions responsible for the development of commercial agriculture and exports in The Gambia.
The diverse project activities will come together to support agricultural growth and economic development in the project area; thus, contributing to the expansion of the rural economy, increased employment and income generation, development of trade, and reduction of food insecurity, she added.
The project addresses the climate vulnerability and increases the sector resilience by supporting investments in climate smart agriculture, building the capacity of institutions to address climate risks, and contributing to the implementation of the first and second Nationally Determined Contributions of The Gambia and its National Climate Change Action Plan.
The World Bank’s International Development Association (IDA), established in 1960, helps the world’s poorest countries by providing grants and low to zero-interest loans for projects and programs that boost economic growth, reduce poverty, and improve poor people’s lives. IDA is one of the largest sources of assistance for the world’s 74 poorest countries, 39 of which are in Africa. Resources from IDA bring positive change to the 1.3 billion people who live in IDA countries. Since 1960, IDA has provided $458 billion to 114 countries. Annual commitments have averaged about $29 billion over the last three years (FY19-FY21), with about 70 percent going to Africa.