The Independent Office of Evaluation of IFAD (IOE) carried out a performance evaluation of the National Agricultural Land and Water Management Development Project in The Gambia. The project was carried out from 2012 to 2019, and was the latest in a long line of IFAD projects dedicated to lowland rice production and targeting women farmers.
The evaluation found that the project was aligned with Government and IFAD policies and priorities. However, it was constrained by gaps in design, which meant that some of the key elements of the project turned out to be unrealistic and not well adapted to the context of fragility and institutional weaknesses. While many of the project’s physical outputs – such as upland farms water control, lowland rice schemes with better access and water control and watershed planning (mangrove restoration, woodlots and agroforestry) – were achieved, several important ones, such as tidal rice irrigation, were not well designed and constructed. This limited the potential achievement of the project’s development objectives.
The evaluation’s recommendations comprise developing a new strategy and national master plan for rice development in the country, as well as moving ongoing and future vegetable schemes consistently towards market, demand and private sector orientation.