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USDA Initiates Food for Progress Program in The Gambia

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New initiative will increase farmers’ productivity and access to markets

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) announced that The Gambia will receive proceeds from the sale of 40,000 metric tons of soybean meal as part of the Food for Progress, Climate Resilience Optimization for Productivity in Horticulture (CROP-H) Program.  The sales, to take place within ECOWAS countries, will fund several program activities for improving The Gambia’s agricultural sector.

In implementing the new program, all cash, and proceeds from the sales, projected at about $12.3 million, will be used to help improve access and distribution of water for irrigation; train farmers on climate-smart agriculture production; build capacity of producer groups; increase access to markets; diversify crops; provide small business grants, improve sanitary and phytosanitary standards; and enhance cold storage infrastructure. Approximately 27,000 farmers are expected to benefit.

This five-year program will be implemented through Shelter For Life, the organization currently implementing USDA’s Linking Infrastructure, Finance and Farms to Cashew (LIFFT Cashew). The LIFFT program, which began in 2018, has improved infrastructure, increased ground nut production and quality, and enhanced access to finance and markets for Gambian cashew farmers.

“Agriculture is paramount to achieving sustainable growth in The Gambia,” said U.S. Ambassador to The Gambia Sharon L. Cromer. “This exciting new USDA program, together with other ongoing United States initiatives, will contribute significantly to increase productivity and access to local, regional, and international markets. Working with our Gambian partners, the United States hopes to help farmers –and Gambians overall –achieve greater food security and a more prosperous future.”

In 2022, USDA awarded The Gambia $28.5 million through the McGovern-Dole International Food for Education and Child Nutrition Program. This program, administered through Catholic Relief Services, aims to reduce hunger, and improve literacy and primary education, especially for girls. By providing school meals, teacher training and related support, McGovern-Dole will assist more than 57,000 children and 100,000 teachers, farmers, and others within The Gambia.

This year, USDA has committed more than $455 million internationally to strengthen global food security. From this commitment, Food for Progress Program is investing $225 million in projects in Bangladesh, Cote d’Ivoire, The Gambia, Lesotho, Mauritania, Nepal, and Togo.

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