|The Special Programme for Food Security (SPFS) was
launched by the Food & Agriculture Organization (FAO) in 1994. Focusing on low-income food-deficit countries,
the SPFS was endorsed in Rome in November 1996.
aims at supporting The Gambia and other countries in their
Improve their nation's national food
security through rapid increases in productivity and food
production on an economically and environmentally sustainable
Reduce year-to-year variability in agricultural production;
Improve Gambian peoples access to food;
The SPFS is a
multidisciplinary programme with a strong emphasis on meeting
peoples needs directly by raising farmer's net income,
generating rural employment, increasing social equity and
promoting gender sensitivity.
Implementation of SPFS takes place in two stages, referred to as
the Pilot phase and the Expansion phase. The Government of The
Gambia has responded positively to the FAO initiative of SPFS
and tripartite agreement has been signed between the Government
of The Gambia, The Government of Bangladesh and FAO. The
programme is expected to be funded by the Islamic Development
Bank, possibly with the cofinancing from the African Development
Bank and the Common Wealth Secretariat.
Nine experts and technicians from Bangladesh have arrived to the
Gambia to implement the first phase of the Programme together
with the Gambian Government and rural communities. The first
phase consist of four components:
Small-scale water harvesting, irrigation and drainage
systems using rainfall, water runoff, small streams, ground
water etc.; and agricultural land development to secure
production against the vagaries of the climate.
Intensification of sustainable plant production systems with
the transfer of adequate technologies accessible to all and the
effective use of high-yielding varieties, integrated plant
nutrition systems, integrated pest management and appropriate
Diversification of production including aquaculture and small
animal (poultry, sheep, goats etc.) production.
Analysis of constraints to food security; special attention
will be given to the analysis of socio-economic constraints, by
gender and by specific groups, to the expansion of the first
phase in particular access to technology, land, input, storage,
marketing, processing and credit facilities.
It was reported on the 4th September 2003 Bangladesh will
send over 30 field technicians and experts to the Gambia to work
with local experts, as part of a quadripartite agreement signed
between the two countries, funded by the Islamic Development
Bank and supported by FAO.
The objectives of the Food and Agriculture Organization assistance programmes in Gambia are to
assist the Government to maximise crop & domestic food production
& benefits to farmers, strengthen the livestock industry, integrate
the agriculture &
livestock sub-sectors, thereby increasing food
self-sufficiency, dietary protein & improving nutrition & the
quality of the rural population.
Furthermore the FAO
aims to diversify the agricultural production
base, upgrade horticultural production systems, handling, marketing
and storage of horticultural
crops, developing and effectively
operating rural finance systems in collaboration with the
Bank; support poverty alleviation programmes; promote the management
of natural resources for sustainable development and review
development to maximise the contribution of industrial fisheries to
the national economy.
The Gambia benefits from the following FAO Regional Projects:
International Cooperation with the Nansen Programme: Fisheries
Management and Marine Environment;
Evaluation of Production, Multiplication and Distribution Systems of
Improved Groundnut Germplasm in West and Central Africa;
Development of Communication Techniques for Peoples Participation;
Forestry Outlook Study for Africa;
Sustainable Fisheries Livelihoods Programme;
Implementing the International Code of Conduct on the Distribution and
Use of Pesticides in Sahel Countries;
Advisory Services for Fisheries Monitoring, Control and Surveillance
in West Africa;
Sustainable Forest Management in Africa;
In July 2008 the FAO launched its emergency rice
programme in West Africa.
In September 2008, the Government of
The Gambia and the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) signed the
FAO-funded Technical Cooperation Programme (TCP) Support Project for
Sustainable Aquaculture Systems.