|A rice field in Central River Region of the Gambia under the Ifad-funded PIWAMP project|
The Nema (agricultural) project intended to contribute to the overall goal of reducing poverty of rural women and youth is set for launch by The Gambia Government on Tuesday.
The National Agricultural Land and Water Management (Nema-project) designed to increase income levels of rural-folks through improved productivity based on sustainable land and water management practices – will launch with a startup workshop Feb. 26-28, 2013 in Banjul.
The US$34 million project, of which negotiations were concluded in Dec. 2012, is funded through a grant from the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD).
The Nema is a seven-year project set in motion to build on the achievements and experience of earlier IFAD-supported projects in the same sector, the agriculture ministry said.
Currently, IFAD has funded three projects that are phasing-out in the next two years: the Participatory Integrated Watershed Management Project (PIWAMP), ending in 2014, is co-funded by AfDB and GEF; the Rural Finance Project (RFP) is ending in 2014; and Livestock and Horticulture Development Programme (LHDP), with AfDB co-funding, is finishing in 2015.
The new project takes an integrated approach to the development of both rice and vegetable value chains.
“Nema is fully aligned with the Gambia National Agricultural Investment Plan 2011-2015 (GNAIP, Sept. 2010) which was developed within the framework of the New Partnership for Africa (NEPAD) Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP),” the ministry said.
The project will address IFAD‘s strategic objectives of assisting poor rural women and men to develop their skills and organisations to take advantage of: improved agricultural technologies and effective production services; competitive agricultural input and produce markets; a range of financial services; and rural off-farm employment and enterprise development opportunities.
This, the government and IFAD, say will increase the income and benefit the rural economy in general.
They said the project will support Gambia government’s strategic vision for growth and development through strengthening the agricultural sector in order to: increase productivity; improve farmers’ income; expand rural economy for employment generation; and reduce food importation.
Written by Modou S. Joof
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