Banjul, January 9, 2009 - The protocol agreement on a grant to finance the livestock and horticulture development project which was approved by the African Development Fund (ADF) Board of Directors on the December 26, 2008, was signed on Friday in Banjul, The Gambia. The agreement was signed for the country by its Finance and Economic Affairs Secretary of State, Mousa Gibril Bala-Gaye, and AfDB’s Regional Resident Representative in Senegal, Mohamed H’Midouche. The signing ceremony was witnessed by Serign Cham, Permanent Secretary at the Department of State for Finance and Economic Affairs, Bakary Trawally, Permanent Secretary at the Department of State for Agriculture, and Issaka Zampaligre, Legal Adviser.
The Project, which will be financed by an ADF grant of UA 4.02 million, equivalent to $6.4 million, will assist The Gambia in its efforts to enhance the productive capacity of its economy and revitalize agriculture and rural development, especially within the context of the global food production issue.
The project will directly benefit some 3,000 households. It is expected to increase the volume of marketed horticultural produce by 125%; the number of poultry birds by 1775%; the number of heads of small ruminants by 952% in the project area at completion. Increased production and strengthened marketing facilities will positively improve food security, reduce reliance on import, particularly of meat products. The project will also indirectly support and be supported by the expending tourism industry which currently relies on the import of meat and vegetables to meet the needs of the hotels. This could trigger the development of the Gambian agro- industry.
The advent of this project has brought the total of cumulative commitments of the African Development Bank Group in The Gambia since start of lending operations in 1974 to UA 210 million (US$ 333 million). Commitments for the on-going portfolio stand at UA 52 million (US$ 82 million). These figures signify a successful partnership between The Gambia and the African Development Bank Group which needs to be sustained and strengthened in the years to come.
During the signing ceremony, Mousa G. Bala Gaye expressed, on behalf of the Gambian government, his sincere thanks and appreciations to the AfDB President, Donald Kaberuka, the ADF Board of Directors and staff for granting the Gambia this new facility to assist in the financing of this project. Speaking during the event, Mr. H'Midouche reassured Mr. Bala-Gaye for his institution’s support towards the country’s socio-economic development. He added that this new project illustrated the successful partnership between the Gambia and the AfDB which needs to be sustained and strengthened in the future.