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Gambia launches project to reduce poverty, end food insecurity

APA

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The government is since Tuesday in Banjul holding the three-day workshop in in collaboration with the International Fund Agricultural Development (IFAD).

The workshop is meant for all stakeholders to have a common and shared vision of the expected impact, outcomes, and the strategies of the NEMA project.

Gambia’s Agricultural minister, Solomon Owens, averred that NEMA intends to increase farm productivity; improve farmer’s income; expand rural economy for employment generation, and reduce food importation.

According to the official, the project will be a key player in the execution of the Gambia National Agricultural Investment Plan (GNAIP), which is the medium-term development framework for the agricultural and natural resources sector.

Moses Abubakari, IFAD country programme manager, said the seven-year NEMA project would build on the achievements and experience of past and current IFAD-supported projects in the country.

He stated that with the project, IFAD aims to support the government in its agenda to reduce the poverty among rural women and youth, targeting about 23,000 households in all the six agricultural regional directorates and focusing on rice and vegetable value chains.

The total estimate project cost is about US$65 million. IFAD is financing 53% of the total project cost amounting to USD 34 million as grant. The Gambia government and beneficiary will contribute about 5.8%, and Islamic Development Bank is expected to contribute the remaining 41.2% as the co-financing donor.

The Nema project is said to be one of the biggest IFAD-funded projects in The Gambia to help smallfarmers, especially women and youth, to improve land and water management so as to increase rice and vegetable production.

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