Faced with the lingering effects of the 2012 food and nutrition crisis in the Sahel, high food prices, recurrent natural disasters, animal disease outbreaks and plant infestations, many families in the Gambia struggle to feed themselves and their families. Approximately two-thirds of the population are currently food insecure.

FAO is focused on restoring the livelihoods of the most vulnerable communities in the Gambia, while at the same time, rebuilding their resilience to shocks that pose a threat to food security.

Assessing humanitarian and livelihood needs

The Gambia is a food-deficient country, contributing to only half of its food consumption needs, with less than 10 percent of rice – the country’s staple crop – produced locally. One of the main constraints to rice production in the Gambia is the red billed quela quela bird – a plant pest which is causing significant losses to crops and threatening the food security of farming families across the lower river region of the country. Approximately 600 ha of rice fields have been affected thus far.

FAO is currently carrying out a rapid assessment to better understand the extent of the damage as well as the humanitarian and livelihood needs of the affected farmers.

Combating transboundary animal diseases

Livestock production is carried out nationwide by almost all rural households in the Gambia. However, transboundry animal diseases – which can wipe out entire herds and adversely affect human health – is the biggest risk to farming families who depend on livestock production for their livelihood.

By carrying out vaccination campaigns against common animal diseases, FAO aims to improve animal health conditions and minimize the spread of transboundary animal diseases to other parts of the country. To prevent future outbreaks, FAO is training Government staff to improve disease detection, surveillance and reporting. FAO is also helping the Government to develop a five-year plan for the control and eradication of contagious bovine pleuropneumonia – the biggest threat to cattle production in sub-Saharan Africa.


More about the country

 - Highlights The rainfall situation has improved markedly in most parts of the region. However, some areas particularly the south of Benin, Ghana and Togo, northwest Mali, central more
 - Key Points The pastoral lean season continues despite improved rainfall in end of July 2015 in the pastoral zone.  The agricultural campaign is off to a slow start more
 - Key points The late arrival of rains entail an extension of pastoral lean season and the delay of the start of the cropping season. The FAO Food Price more
 - Food insecurity situation in the Sahel and West Africa from 01/06 to 30/08/2015.
 - To contribute to: (i) mitigate the impact of food shortages on households' food security; (ii) reduce the cases of malnutrition and depletion of assets; and (iii) more
 - Rétablir les capacités de production, améliorer la sécurité alimentaire et nutritionnelle et renforcer la résilience de la population vulnérable affectée, principalement les agropasteurs.
 - L'Essentiel La période de soudure a débuté en Gambie, en Guinée Bissau, au Mali, en Mauritanie, au Niger et au Sénégal, principalement dans les zones ayant souffert more
 - Keys points: Globally good agricultural production in the Sahel and West Africa 2014-2015 campaign. The regional analysis of the Cadre harmonisé in March showed that 4,749,000 persons will more
 - Food insecurity situation in the Sahel and West Africa from 01/03 to 31/05/2015.
 - An analysis of the Harmonized Framework highlights minimal food insecurity in several areas in the region. However, between March and May 2015 ,4,749,000 persons are identified more