Roots are the essence of farming. They sustain and nourish crops, providing food for humans and livestock. Strong roots erect healthy plants and help grant a more predictable and generous harvest.

The ROOTS project seeks to promote exactly that strength in The Gambia. Inspired by local people’s courage, bravery and resilience, the project’s name echoes its aim of making rural Gambians’ development sustainable and sustained by their own, bolstering small-scale farmers’ resilience to climate change and empowering vulnerable communities connected to farming activities. The name is also a reference to the Gambian legend Kunta Kinte, a slave who broke the chains of domination in Alex Haley's 1976 Pulitzer Prize–winning novel Roots.

In a country where agriculture is vital but fragile, investing in the sector means enhancing the source of income for approximately 70 per cent of the population. It is about tackling widespread rural poverty, food insecurity and malnutrition. Last but not least, it is also about supporting social groups who are particularly exposed to economic risks i.e. women, youth and persons with disabilities.

By Haoua Sienta
The full article is available on the website of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD):

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