Gambia: Stakeholders Validate Environmental, Social Management Framework for ROOTS Project

The National Environmental Agency (NEA) and the Ministry of Agriculture (NEA) in collaboration with partner institutions on Tuesday validated the Environmental and Social Management Framework for the Resilience of Organisation for Transformative Smallholder Agriculture Programme dubbed ROOTS at a ceremony held at a local hotel.

ROOTS was built on the success of NEMA projects that contribute to the development of rice and horticulture, and further seeks to consolidate and scale-climate resilience in rice farming for both up and low lands as well as community vegetable gardens. The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) injected a sum of $80 million into the ROOTS project.

The project is also aimed at improving food security, improving nutrition and enhancing small holder farmer’s resilience to climate change. It will be implemented in five administrative regions including Central River, North Bank, Lower River, West Coast and Upper River regions.

It will cover thirty-nine (39) districts, targeting forty thousand (40,000) households as direct beneficiaries.

In his statement, Dr Dawda Badjie, deputy executive director for NEA said the project’s primary objective is to increase agricultural productivity and access to market for enhanced food security and nutrition as well as resilience of family farms and farmers organisations.

“Based on IFAD’s climate risk categorisation, ROOTS is classified ‘high’ and it is also cognisant of the fact that any venture that could have potential negative impacts on the environment in general needs to be addressed accordingly,” he said