Información geoespacial para lograr sistemas alimentarios sostenibles

Geospatial Technical Assistance (GTA) to IFAD’s project: Resilience of Organizations for Transformative Smallholder Agriculture Project (ROOTS)” Republic of The Gambia

The Gambia is the smallest country on mainland Africa with an area of 10,689 km2 and a population of 2.1 million that will double in 20 years, due to a growth rate of three per cent (World Bank, 2017) . Approximately 62 per cent of the population are poor and 48 per cent live below the poverty line of 1.25 USD per day. Agriculture is the principal source of livelihood for the rural population. It provides employment for approximately 70 per cent of the population but contributes only 24 per cent of the GDP. Rural poverty, food insecurity and malnutrition are closely associated with low agricultural productivity, particularly in rain-fed systems. The annual 3.5 per cent GDP growth rate is insufficient to reduce poverty meaningfully.

The country is one of the most vulnerable countries to climate change because of its geographical location, characterized by high dependence on rain-fed agriculture and severe salt-water intrusion in the lowlands floodplain. The effects of climate change relative to rising sea level and reduced rainfall have increased saltwater intrusion to 150-200 km inland, thereby affecting crop yields. In addition, the country experienced severe droughts in 2011 and 2014, leading to a drop of crop output of 50 per cent.

The Government of The Gambia has committed to a stronger agricultural performance since the democratic transition and has asked IFAD to co-finance the Resilience of Organizations for Transformative Smallholder Agriculture Project (ROOTS). In addition, the Government has stressed the need to capitalize on the gains of the ongoing IFAD-funded National Agricultural Land and Water Management Development (NEMA) program.

The main goal of the GTA is to strengthen the technical capacities of the project support unit (PSU) and identified implementing partners to implement ROOTS project components 1. The objective is to provide technical support in using geospatial technologies in support to the implementation of the ROOTS capacity building strategy, land and water resources evaluation for identifying suitable land for crop production, infrastructure development, new micro-catchment areas, agroforestry and mangrove restoration as well as for monitoring, reporting and evaluating ROOTS project. The impact of the project will be realized through increased capacities in using geospatial technologies, for (1) identifying suitable land area for production of crops (rice and vegetables), agroforestry and mangrove restoration, (2) monitoring and evaluation of the natural environment based on ROOTS interventions, and (3) reporting. 

This project will directly help smallholder farmers, targeted investments in infrastructure, and the technical and organizational capacities of farmer organizations, particularly youth and women and other stakeholders along the rice and horticulture value chains to improve food security, nutrition, ecosystem restoration and smallholder farmers’ resilience to climate change in The Gambia. The above higher-level project objectives are proposed to be achieved through enhancing the national capacities in using geospatial technologies for land evaluation and monitoring and through supporting the project activities with geospatial assessment.