AbdoulieG.Dibba The Gambia Commercial Agriculture and Value Chain Management Project(GCAV) GCAV BASELINEunder the Central Project Coordinating Unit of the Ministry of Agriculture on Thursday 12thMarch 2015, at the Baobab Hotel validated the Baseline Study Draft Report Document of GCAV.The  Project Coordinator of GCAV, Mr. FalaloTouray noted that the main objective of this Baseline Study for GCAV was to identify, collect, describe and analyse baseline values for the specific indicators pertinent to the project’s results framework that will serve as benchmarks for assessing project outputs, outcomes and impact on beneficiaries in the project intervention areas. According to him, the two interlinked surveys were carried out in the Central River Regions (North and South), the West Coast Region, and North Bank Region. In West Coast Region and North Bank Region he said, the survey focussed on farmers engaged in vegetable and mango production whilst in Central River Regions (North and South), the focus was on rice producers. In conclusion, Mr Touray challenged the participants to critically look at the document and map out the way forward by making key recommendations in order to ensure that the document meet its expectation. In officially opening the validation of the Baseline study for the GCAV project Permanent Secretary 2 at the Ministry of Agriculture Mr. Sheriffo Bojang stated that GCAV is one of the six projects that are currently being implemented under the Ministry of Agriculture and that it is a five Year project of 27 million dollar funded by the World Bank and the Gambia Government. PS Bojang indicated that the baseline survey was commissioned as part of the Monitoring and Evaluation system of the GCAV project and that the baseline has two main important goals namely:- “To provide information necessary to guide project implementation, resources allocation, engagement, capacity building with partnership and community based organization; “To provide benchmarks on the current status quo with specific reference to the set goals, objectives, indicators that the project was designed to achieve. Critical among this is that by 2019, the project will increase the production of rice by up to 46,000 tonnes, increase yield by 100% from the current estimates of 1 ton per hectare`.He noted that the project among other things envisages increasing production and productivity of selected commodities such as rice, vegetables and mangoes that are important for the attainment of food and nutrition security but also poverty reduction as envisaged in the GNAIP and vision 2016. PS Bojang asserted that the baseline survey, midterm review, project completion report and impact evaluation are very important interconnected documents which are always referred to throughout the lifespan of a project to guide what is to be done and to help attribute change to what has been done. He pointed out that in January 2015, this baseline survey of the project was technically reviewed by the Ministry of Agriculture Monitoring and Evaluation Technical working groups and that their comments have been incorporated in draft. He thanked Toumani consulting and the management of GCAV for the performance. After the opening, Dr Badara Loum made a presentation of the baseline survey in which he stated that the baseline is in twenty-four chapters which are as follows:- Chapter one deals with Introduction, chapter two deals with Literature Review, chapter three deals with Household Demographic Profile of Respondents, chapter four deals with Farming Practices, chapter five deals with Provision of Support Services, chapter six  deals with Ownership of Productive Assets, chapter seven deals with Post Harvest Handling of Produce, chapter eight deals with Marketing Arrangements for Produce, chapter nine deals with Group Formation and Capacity Building, chapter ten deals with Income and Credit, chapter eleven deals with Analysis of Survey Results for Rice Producers in CRR, chapter twelve deals with Farm Practices, chapter thirteen deals with Irrigation, chapter fourteen deals with  Input Source and Utilization for Rice Production, chapter fifteen deals with Post Harvest Handling, chapter sixteen  deals with Marketing of Rice, chapter seventeen deals with  Group Information and Capacity Building, chapter eighteen deals with  Provision of Support Services, chapter nineteen deals with Existence of Development Organisations, chapter twenty deals with House Hold Productive Assets, chapter twenty one deals with  Income and Credit, chapter twenty two deals with  Situational Analysis of GCAV Intervention Sites, chapter twenty – three deals with  Focus Group Discussions and the final Chapter  in the baseline is chapter twenty- four which deals with Conclusions and Recommendations.]]>