Gambia is located in West Africa, bordering the Atlantic Ocean and Senegal. The country’s total land area is 11,295 sq km, and is comparatively slightly larger than Jamaica, or about the size of the state of Delaware in the U.S. Its climate is tropical, with a hot rainy season and a cooler dry season. Of the total land area, 28 percent is utilized for cultivated crops, while no measurable amount of the total land supports permanent crops such as fruit- and nut-bearing trees. Environmental issues facing Gambia include deforestation, desertification and a prevalence of water-borne diseases. The country’s population is approximately 1.8 million, with 75 percent of Gambia’s labor force dedicated to agriculture. Economically, the country leads the region in ecotourism. Small-scale food processing facilities also show growth. The banking sector has become a significant factor in the country’s GDP along with commodity exports such as peanut products, fish and cotton lint. Gambia’s other agricultural products include rice, millet, sorghum, maize, sesame, cassava and palm kernels. The North and West Africa Division is responsible for IFDC activities in Gambia.
Current IFDC Projects in Gambia
- Marketing Inputs Regionally (MIR Plus), 2009-2013
MIR Plus is improving policy and regulatory environments in the 15 nations of the Economic Community of West Africa (ECOWAS). The project is increasing the use and efficiency of agro-inputs, improving the availability of technical and market information and using technology to link producers’ organizations with agro-dealers. The project links 2.23 million farmers to agro-dealers who will help train and supply the farmers. The project should increase maize and rain-fed rice yields by 20 percent for targeted farmers in Ghana and Nigeria, and increase irrigated rice yields in Burkina Faso, Ghana, Nigeria, Senegal and Sierra Leone by 20 percent.
DONORS: Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), West African Economic and Monetary Union (UEMOA), the Netherlands’ Directorate-General for International Cooperation (DGIS)
Recent IFDC Projects in Gambia
- Marketing Inputs Regionally (MIR), 2002-2008
The MIR project increased the affordability and accessibility of quality inputs for targeted smallholders in West Africa, and provided technical support and training for farmers and dealers. MIR developed regional and national regulatory frameworks, supported the advancement of farmer and agro-dealer associations, facilitated dialogue along the value chain and implemented sustainable development of the cotton agro-input sub-sector.
DONOR: The Netherlands’ Directorate-General for International Cooperation (DGIS)
MIR Plus (Taken from IFDC Report Volume 36, No. 2)