(JollofNews) – The Gambia Government has secured 8.5 million dollars (approximately 340 million dalasi) from the African Development Bank to support the Agricultural Value Chain Development Project of the country.
The project which is newly designed will be implemented in three villages in the Upper River Region and two of its components namely, the Livestock Value Chain and Rice Value Chain Productions will be targeted.
The deputy minister of Agriculture, Mr Ousman Jammeh, disclosed this at a day’s stakeholders’ workshop held at Baobab Hotel in Bijilo yesterday.
Jammeh said: “The Agriculture Value Chain Development Project (AVC DP) aims to improve some key value chains, rice and livestock that are important to the improvement of food and nutrition security but also improved livelihoods or incomes of the actors in these value chains.
“The project will have staff at the level of the central project coordinating unit of the Ministry of Agriculture and implementation will be done through the regional directorates of the Department of Agriculture and Livestock Services. The staff will include a project director, a monitoring and evaluation coordinator who will also coordinate all monitoring and evaluation issues of the Ministry of Agriculture projects.”
According to Jammeh, the five-year project emphasises a unique value chain approach for developing all the processes, actors of the different but interconnected stages of production or rearing, harvesting, marketing and consumption of rice and livestock. He said the project is also proposed for intervention in pump irrigation and livestock in appropriate ecologies and traditional rice growing communities in the Upper River Region of The Gambia.
The deputy minister assured that the central project coordinating unit will ensure work is done through the Ministry of Agriculture for strengthening the system as well as sustaining efforts at the level of the field.
Jammeh commended the African Development Bank for the trust it has reposed in the President Yahya Jammeh-led administration and for showing willingness to fund agriculture and rural development in The Gambia.
He also called on the Department of Agriculture and Livestock Services and other would-be implementing agencies of the Agriculture Value Chain Development Project to re-examine their staff capacity at the level of the field to ensure they lived up to expectation.