Gov’t, WB conclude $68M GIRAV Project negotiations

Gov’t, WB conclude $68M GIRAV Project negotiations

By Sulayman Waan

The Government of the Gambia (GoTG) and the World Bank (WB) have successfully finalised negotiations for a proposed grant amounting to USD68 million as Additional Financing for the Gambia Inclusive and Resilient Agricultural Value Chain Development Project (GIRAV).

The negotiations between representatives of both parties were held in hybrid mode including physical presence in Banjul and via video conferencing and audio connections.

GIRAV is a five-year 40 million US Dollar (USD40m) World Bank grant approved in November 2021 and operational in March 2022. It is being executed by the Ministry of Agriculture, and implemented by the Central Projects Coordinating Unit (CPCU) under the ministry in close partnership with 18 Implementing Partners.

The World Bank Board is expected to approve the Additional Financing on April 15, 2024.  This will bring the total project budget to USD108 million. 

The project aims to promote the development of inclusive, resilient, and competitive agricultural value chains, with specific focus on smallholder farmers and agribusinesses in The Gambia. The project comprises five components (including three interlinked and sequenced technical components) structured to address the key binding constraints for the development of agriculture and agribusiness.

With the additional Financing, the project will have an additional component aimed at increasing water supply to promote irrigation to boost agribusiness, and improve access to potable water in rural areas and provision of sanitation and hygiene to selected schools.  Furthermore, through the additional financing, the project will also support the government’s efforts aimed at improving the country’s land administration system to promote security of land tenure and climate resilient spatial planning. 

The project design is fully aligned with The Gambia Government’s development priorities as outlined in various national development blueprints all of which place commercial agriculture at the centre of the country’s economic and social development strategy. The intervention is also congruent with Agenda 2063 (Africa’s blueprint and master plan for transforming Africa into the global powerhouse of the future), and The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. 

The Gambian delegation was led by Mrs Juldeh Ceesay, Deputy Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Finance and Economic Affairs whilst Ms. Aifa Fatimata Ndoye Niane, Senior Agriculture Economist, Agriculture and Food Global Practice at the World Bank Dakar Office and Team Leader for the GIRAV Project led the World Bank delegation.

The duo signed the Agreed Minutes of the Negotiations. They both expressed appreciation of the milestone achievement.

Mrs Juldeh Ceesay on behalf of the Gambia Government thanked the World Bank for its consistent and remarkable support to The Gambia. Ms. Aifa Fatimata Ndoye Niane reiterated the World Bank’s commitment to the Gambia’s Agricultural Transformation agenda. She noted that the project is currently supporting agribusiness firms and smallholders active in the five priority value chains of the project, namely Rice, Maize, Horticulture (including Mango), Cashew and poultry in the drive for inclusive agricultural transition from a subsistence-oriented agriculture to a climate-resilient and market-oriented agriculture.


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