Banjul – The Government of The Gambia and the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP), today, launched the Gambia Agriculture and Food Security Project (GASFp) aiming to reinforce food security and nutrition, and increase incomes of 170,000 vulnerable people including farmers, food processors, community members and school children.
“It is gratifying to note that this new project will scale up the achievements of similar agriculture and food security projects previously implemented by the Government of the Gambia” said Dr. Demba Sabally, Minister of Agriculture. “ I am honoured to see that the project will build synergies with other partners’ work particularly that of the World Food Programme (WFP) geared towards increasing climate resilient value chain development as the basis for a sustainable Home-Grown School Feeding Programme”, Sabally added.
Funded by the African Development Bank and other development partners through the Global Agriculture and Food Security Program (GAFSP), this five-year project will be implemented by the Ministry of Agriculture (MoA) in partnership with WFP in Central River Region (CRR), Lower River Region (LRR), Upper River Region (URR), North Bank Region (NBR) and the West Coast Region (WCR).
“This project comes at the right time to support resilient and inclusive food systems for vulnerable communities”, said Yasuhiro Tsumura, WFP’s Representative and Country Director in The Gambia. “With the country now facing its worst food insecurity in the past 10 years - due to climate shocks, global conflicts, and COVID-19 pandemic, we are grateful to the Government for its trust in choosing WFP as its implementing partner. We will work closely with all parties involved to make it a success” Tsumura added.
Through this project, WFP will closely work with smallholder farmers, linking them to schools to increase their income and productivity, ensure a reliable market access and ultimately build a sustainable home-grown school feeding programme in the country.
“ Building a sustainable school feeding programme is in line with our government priorities as it involves structuring the food demand side (for school feeding) to match with the supply side (local production by smallholder farmers), improving post-harvest management, market access and resilience for identified food chains while promoting social protection and food safety net programmes to reduce food insecurity and malnutrition in the project areas” Sabally insisted.
Overall, the Gambia Agriculture and Food Security project will contribute to a sustainable and comprehensive food security and nutrition through improved livelihoods, agricultural productivity and climate resilience building. The project will also reduce vulnerabilities by promoting social safety nets such as home grown school feeding, rice fortification, sensitization for better nutrition, and water, sanitation and hygiene at school and community levels. National capacities will be enhanced to ensure community ownership and good governance through private sector partnerships and south-south and triangular cooperation.
The United Nations World Food Programme is the world’s largest humanitarian organization, saving lives in emergencies and using food assistance to build a pathway to peace, stability and prosperity for people recovering from conflict, disasters, and the impact of climate change.
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Musa M. Humma; Deputy Permanent Secretary MOA
Mob. +221 9168944
Anta Kah-Janneh, WFP/Gambia
Mob. +220 449478