gambiaThe Gambia is the smallest country in the mainland Africa, situated on the Atlantic coast of West Africa. Although located in a Francophone region, English is Gambia’s official language as well as the medium of instruction in academic institutions. The country has rather a unique geographical setting. Except for a rather narrow opening to the Atlantic coast, Gambia it is a strip of land, completely surrounded by another country, Senegal, extending from the coast for about 300 miles to the east, with a width ranging from 15 to 30 miles, and with the River Gambia flowing in the middle of the strip. The population of Gambia is almost 1.8 million (2012), about one third of which lives below the international poverty level. The name of Gambia’s capital is Banjul.

Context

Context

The Gambia has tropical climate with generally hot temperatures and a rainy season when day time temperatures go become a bit mild. The country is mostly a plateau, which decreases in altitude as it nears the Atlantic coast. About 11.5 per cent of the country’s area is covered by water.

The agricultural sector is the most important source of Gambia’s economy, with about 80 per cent of the people’s livelihoods depending on it. The agriculture is mostly rain-fed; less than 2 per cent of the cultivated land is irrigated.  Average farm size is 1.5 to 2 hectares. The crops grown are groundnuts, millet, rice (dry land, irrigated and swamp), sorghum, maize, sesame, cassava, cotton, cashew nuts, coconuts, kola nuts, palm oil, and a variety of vegetables and fruits. Groundnuts and groundnut products are major export commodities. Cultivation practices are traditional, and the methods of cereals’ processing highly labor-intensive. Main agricultural challenges include “slash and burn” practice, deforestation caused by the demand for firewood and charcoal, salinity due to intrusion of salt water into swamp areas, and production losses due to poor storage facilities. Livestock constitute an important economic activity, and comprise cattle, sheep, goats, horses, donkeys, chickens and pigs.

Key Statistics and Indicators

Indicator

Value

Year  

Agricultural land (sq km)

Agricultural land (% of land area)

Arable land (hectares)

Arable land (% of land area)

Arable land (hectares per person)

6150

60.77

450000

44.46

0.25

2011

2011

2011

2011

2011

Fertilizer consumption (kg per hectare of arable land)

7.3

2010

Agriculture, value added (% of GDP)

Food production index (2004-2006 = 100)

Food exports (% of merchandise exports)

Food imports (% of merchandise imports)

18.88

83.59

81.73

32.16

2011

2011

2011

2011

GNI per capita, Atlas method (current US$)

510

2012

Literacy rate, adult total (% of people ages 15 and above)

Literacy rate, youth female (% of females ages 15-24)

Literacy rate, youth male (% of males ages 15-24)

Ratio of young literate females to males (% ages 15-24)

Ratio of female to male secondary enrollment (%)

51.10

63.62

72.64

87.58

94.84

2011

2011

2011

2011

2010

Mobile cellular subscriptions (per 100 people)

Internet users (per 100 people)

83.63

12.44

2012

2012

Population, total

Population density (people per sq. km of land area)

Rural population

Rural population (% of total population)

Agricultural population (% of total population)

Total economically active population

Total economically active population in agriculture*

Total economically active population in agriculture (in %

    of total economically active population)

Female economically active population in agriculture (% of

     total economically active population in agriculture)*

1791225

171.43

756599

42.23

N.A.

751037.77

614000

81.75

55.37

2012

2011

2012

2012

2012

2010

2011

2010

Sources:The World Bank; *Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations FAO

Acknowledgements

  • Authored by M. Kalim Qamar (March 2014)
  • Edited by Burton E. Swanson

 

Comments  

# MRchinedu Nwafor 2016-05-21 21:48
Dear Sir,

My names are Chinedu Nwafor presently Executive Assistant to the governor of Enugu state.
Due to economic situation of Nigeria and the fall in oil price the state is looking for organizations/agencies that will partner with her to unlock agricultural potentials of the state in form of government/public partnership to help develop and manage existing farm plantations or build agro-Processing industry in the rural areas of the state.The state has many agricultural potentials and is ready to assist any interested investor.


Yours Faithfully
Chinedu Nwafor
Reply