Gov’t receives consignment of 15,000 MT of Assorted fertilizer procured by the GIRAV project
By Sulayman Waan
The Gambia Government through the Ministry of Agriculture (MoA) on Thursday 27th April 2023, officially received the first consignment of the 15,000 Metric tons of assorted fertilizer it has procured for the upcoming cropping season at a brief ceremony at the Kerr Ayib Border, NBR.
The MoA procured the fertilizer with a USD10 million grant from the Work Bank through the Gambia Inclusive and Resilient Agricultural Value Chain Development Project (GIRAV). The assorted consignment comprises5 Metric Tons of NPK:15.15.15, 5 Metric Tons of NPK: 10.20.10 and 5 Metric Tons of Urea: 00-46-00 packaged in 50 kilo-gramme bag is sourced from OCP Africa Morocco.
According to GIRAV officials, 10MT will be delivered by land using the Kerr Ayib and Ambadali border crossings whilst the remaining 5MT will arrive by sea.
GIRAV is a USD 40 million five-year project funded by the World Bank through a grant. It is being executed by the MoA and implemented by CPCU and 18 implementing partners across the Gambia targeting five priority value chains includes rice, maize, horticulture (including mango), cashew and poultry.
Representing the Minister of Agriculture at the official Reception of the first consignment of fertilizer Mrs. Fatou Jammeh- Touray, Deputy Permanent Secretary responsible for Projects and Programmes at MOA conveyed government’s gratitude to the World Bank and the OCP Africa for making the initiative a success story.
She said: “In the drive to make our agricultural system more productive, more resilient and sustainable, the government requested for assistance from the World Bank to establish a Fertilizer programme under the GIRAV project. The Bank responded positively and my ministry through the GIRAV project under the CPCU procured the assorted fertilizer.
“This convoy of the trucks is here to deliver the first consignment of the assorted fertilizer which comprises 5 Metric Tons NPK: 15:15:15, 5 Metric Tons of NPK: 10:20:10 and 5 Metric Tons of Urea: 00-46-00.
“To ensure sustainability and timely availability of fertilizer in the country, the proceeds realized from the sales will be deposited into a special account at The Central Bank of The Gambia to serve as fertilizer Revolving Fund. This will help to address the perennial problem of lack of fertilizer for our smallholder farmers”.
DPS Jammeh further said that the CPCU is working diligently with the National Food Security, Processing and Marketing Corporation (NFSPMC) and the Department of Agriculture and its decentralize structures to facilitate easy access of the fertilizer to smallholder farmers.
She also noted that the MOA is working closely with the Ministry of Finance and Economic Affairs to fix the price of the fertilizer at subsidized cost, noting that the price per 50kg bag will be announced in due course.
Mrs. Jammeh Touray thanked the WBfor its remarkable support to the Gambia especially in the agricultural sector. She reaffirmed stakeholders’ commitment to ensure successful implementation of the fertilizer programme.
Mr. Abdoulie Touray, Coordinator of the CPCU and the GIRAV project said programme is significant to ensure national food security, nutrition, poverty reduction and economic growth and shared prosperity leaving no one behind. He added the soils fertility is severely degraded and thus there is high demand for chemical fertilizer to improve its fertility so that crop production and productivity is realized.
Representing the Regional Governor, Dembo Samateh, Deputy Governor for NBR said the fertilizer programme will immensely contribute to increase in crops production and productivity.
“This fertilizer has been brought solely and only for the farmers and not for business people,” he warned.
Mr. Mohamed Benzekri, Vice President of OCP Africa- Senegal expressed delight in working with the Gambia Government and the World Bank to deliver for the Gambia. He assured that his company will continue to work with the Gambia to boost Gambia’s crop production and productivity.
Ansumana Kinteh, Police Commissioner for NBR assured that the security personnel in the region will work accordingly to ensure the fertilizer reaches its destination safely. He also reiterated their commitment to ensure effective monitoring of the fertilizer to prevent its leakage across the border.