Agriculture is the most important sector in The Gambian economy and one of the priority areas for development.
The Gambia has 558,000 hectares of good quality arable land, of which only 200,000 hectares are currently under rain-fed agricultural production.
The Gambia has great potential for irrigated agriculture, with fresh water from the River Gambia, rain water if harvested, and fossil water that can be drilled. It also has a weather pattern that is suitable for almost all production.
The Department of State for Agriculture, within its mandate to develop and modernise agriculture, will readily give all necessary support and incentives to any serious investor who wants to invest and operate in the sector and support government’s efforts to develop the sector.
The relevant technical departments, the technical expertise and trained personnel, are all readily available in the country.
The sector also offers great potential for value adding processing for both the local and international markets.
The Gambia is at the implementation stage of the Vision 2020 blueprint and wants to become an export oriented agricultural nation through a reputable and high quality Made in The Gambia brand.
- Horticulture: most suitable in the western half of the country
- Fruits: mangoes, citrus, bananas, avocadoes, guava, cashews, oil palm, coconuts, etc
- Vegetables: onions, potatoes, lettuce, cabbage, garlic, tomatoes, mushrooms, peas, cowpeas, beans, etc
- Flowers: chrysanthemums, orchids, roses, etc
- Field crops: suitable in all areas of the country
- Cereal grains: rice, maize, sorghum, wheat, etc
- Grain legumes: groundnuts, cowpeas, soya beans, sesame seeds, etc
- Root crops: cassava, sweet potatoes, potatoes, carrots
- Oil trees: cashew, oil palm and coconuts
- Cattle: For meat and dairy. There are over 400,000 cattle in The Gambia. Cross breeding with exotic European breeds of cattle for increased beef and milk production tested and proven possible by the ITC (International Trypanotolerance Centre – Banjul). Currently over 80% of dairy products are imported
- Small ruminants: There are over 300,000 small ruminants in The Gambia, these include: sheep, goat, swine and rabbits
- Draft animals: horses and donkeys
- Poultry: fowls, ducks and turkeys for eggs and white meat. Hotels in The Gambia consume 20,000 eggs daily. There is a large importation of poultry products
- Land preparation: tractors, harrows, seeders, etc
- Irrigation: solar panels, pumps and piping, etc
- Post-harvest machinery: harvesters, threshers, milling machines, etc
- Plant protection equipment: sprayers
- Storage and packing materials: cold storage, grain silos, poultry and meat packing materials, grain and flour packing materials
Agro Industries and Agribusiness
- Animal feed plants: there is an acute need for poultry and fish (aquaculture) feeds
- Agro pharmaceuticals: there is an urgent need for veterinary drugs for the animal industry
- Pesticides and fertiliser: pesticide plants are needed for the manufacture or fabrication of pre- and post-harvest pesticides. Organic fertilisers could be manufactured
- Vegetable and fruit processing plants: there is an acute need for processing plants to reduce losses in the industry as well as reduce imports
- Grain processing and packing: there is vast potential for the establishment of plants for the manufacture of threshing and milling machines
- Abattoirs: modern abattoirs are needed to exploit the vast livestock resources of the country. Exports could be enhanced
- Oil mills: modern mills are needed to process groundnuts and sesame
- Tanneries: leather from animals after slaughter is generally wasted. Hoofs, intestines and bone could be transformed to other uses for sale
- Dairy: cross breeds between EU cattle and the native breed “Ndama” have yielded 10-15 litres of milk per day depending on the management
- The supply and distribution of agricultural inputs; marketing of agricultural produce; trade fares, etc
Investors interested in The Gambia’s agriculture sector should contact The Gambia Investment Promotion & Free Zones Agency at [email protected]