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The African Development Bank鈥檚 Annual Portfolio Review of GAFSP

workshop participants
Workshop participants. Seated in the front row, Demba Sabally, Ministry of Agriculture (sixth from L), Mod Seck, Ministry of Agriculture PS ( fifth from L) Malick Ndiaye, WFP Deputy Director (2nd from R), AfDB鈥檚 Philip Boahen (4th from R).

At the Sir Dawda Kairaba Jawara International Conference Center in Banjul, The Gambia, 50 participants attended the African Development Bank鈥檚 annual Portfolio review of the Global Agriculture for Food Security Program (GAFSP) this March.

The group 鈥 GAFSP task managers, project implementation unit coordinators, monitoring and evaluation officers, procurement officers, and accountants for each project under Bank supervision, staff from the Bank鈥檚 agriculture department, representatives from the World Food Program (WFP), and senior government officials from the Gambia 鈥 reviewed the performance of the GAFSP portfolio, its achievements, challenges, and lessons learned.

Participants also visited聽one of the successful GAFSP Gambia projects,聽the聽Kalagie聽vegetable women鈥檚 garden located in the聽western part of the country. The聽GAFSP聽supported these women鈥檚 gardens with various climate resilient climate-resilient vegetable seeds and solar-operated irrigation systems for year-round production of market vegetables.

Dr Demba Sabally, Minister of Agriculture of The Gambia
Dr Demba聽Sabally, Minister of Agriculture of The Gambia

Dr Demba聽Sabally, Minister of Agriculture of The Gambia, opened his remarks by expressing appreciation for the Bank鈥檚 commitment and for GAFSP鈥檚 support in The Gambia鈥檚 agriculture sector.

鈥淏oth the African Development Bank and the Global Agriculture and Food Security Program are among the most consistent country development partners in a transformed agriculture sector for poverty reduction, food and nutrition security and wealth creation,鈥 he said.

Mr Mod Secka, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Agriculture, highlighted the GAFSP project impact in The Gambia, saying 鈥淲e are immensely proud to showcase the success registered by The Gambia Global Agriculture Food Security Program in record time. This project has directly impacted almost 9000 Gambians through its various interventions鈥.听

Deputy Director of the WFP, the project鈥檚 implementing聽partner, Mr Malick Ndiaye stressed聽the effective collaborative聽work聽among the Bank, the government聽of The Gambia,聽and WFP in achieving聽the project鈥檚 benefits to the local economy.

The African Development Bank鈥檚 GAFSP聽program coordinator, Philip Boahen said, 鈥淭he program's impact on smallholder farmers is profound, showcasing a remarkable model of sustainable agricultural development. By directly engaging more than 900 smallholder farmers across various regions and facilitating partnerships with local aggregators, the program has significantly contributed to the diversification of the local economy. The procurement of essential food commodities from these farmers not only guarantees a steady market but also stimulates local economic growth.鈥 He reaffirmed the African Development Bank鈥檚 commitment to help bolster food and nutrition security objectives of the government of The Gambia and聽.听

Boahen also shared updates on the recent restructuring of GAFSP that led to the creation of a Business Investment Financing Track (BIFT), a program to provide concessional/blended financing for SMEs in the agricultural sector, often considered too risky by traditional lenders.

The African Development Bank Group Board of Directors approved the initial grant of $16 million for GAFSP on 21 September 2021, which was supplemented by $1.37 million in counterpart funding from the government of The Gambia.

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