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By Godfrey Olukya 30-5-2013

The African Development Bank Group and government of Gambia have signed a USD 26.6 million protocol agreement to boost the agricultural production and food security in the country.

Signing the protocol accord, The Gambia’s Finance and Economic Affairs Minister, also Governor of the Bank, Abdou Kolley, reiterated his country’s gratitude for the Bank’s development actions in the country, in particular its efforts to reduce poverty and make the private sector one of the country’s engines of growth.

‘With a focus on rural household, these funds will contribute to the achievement of The Gambia’s key development objectives of reducing poverty by improving food security, increasing and diversifying food production, as well as raising the income of rural producers, ‘the Minister said.

For his part, the African Development Bank Vice-President, Sector Operations, Aly Abou-Sabaa, said the project symbolizes a milestone in the collaboration between the Government and the AfDB. More importantly, through this project, The Gambia and AfDB will assist vulnerable groups living in poverty and confronted by climate change, he stressed.

Abou-Sabaa also highlighted the Bank’s agriculture strategy, which focuses on support and development of agro-industry as a platform toensure food security, create jobs, increase incomes, diversify the product consumption base in Regional Member Countries.

‘The Bank is happy to support this project’s focused on improving food security, diversifying income opportunities, and improving individual livelihoods in your country, ‘Abou-Sabaa concluded.

The project is an initiative funded by the Global Agriculture and Food Security Program (GAFSP) to reduce rural household poverty.

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