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- 04/08/16--03:10: _Perú: La rica cultu...
- 04/14/16--06:59: _Working together wi...
- 04/21/16--03:21: _Six surprising bene...
- 04/22/16--01:32: _Collaboration in Ke...
- 05/04/16--08:59: _Migrants’ remittanc...
- 05/06/16--01:21: _At climate summit i...
- 05/16/16--09:04: _How to write a proj...
- 05/17/16--08:22: _Paving a way forwar...
- 05/20/16--09:13: _Five 'super' crops ...
- 05/30/16--07:00: _Putting the Paris A...
- 06/01/16--07:29: _VISITE D’ECHANGES D...
- 06/07/16--00:53: _Exclosure Zones, Bi...
- 06/14/16--11:07: _One woman's story w...
- 06/15/16--05:41: _Sending money home
- 06/16/16--06:42: _IFAD Director prese...
- 06/16/16--07:01: _Promoting responsib...
- 06/21/16--09:44: _Strengthening capac...
- 06/22/16--03:38: _Training the traine...
- 06/23/16--04:47: _Digging down to the...
- 06/23/16--07:26: _Putting water in lo...
- 04/08/16--03:10: Perú: La rica cultura popular, base para el desarrollo rural
- 04/14/16--06:59: Working together within IFAD to boost rural development
- 04/21/16--03:21: Six surprising benefits of trees
- 05/17/16--08:22: Paving a way forward for Indigenous youth
- The first, is to ensure that young indigenous peoples have a voice not just in their communities but also at a global scale and starting at the UN.
- The second, is aligned with the partnership aspect of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Ahmad calls for further collaboration with UN partners including the WHO and UNICEF, on strategies to tackle self-harm and suicide amongst indigenous young peoples. “We need to collect best practices on suicide prevention, and share this information with others” he said.
- The third, there is a need to further expand partnerships with the Indigenous youth and tap into their knowledge and expertise in order to push for policies that will reach the local level. Supporting the aspirations of the groups like the GIYC, he says “more young indigenous peoples are needed in the work of the Permanent Forum to voice the views and concerns of youth. Through their involvement they can help shape the advice the Permanent Forum gives to UN agencies, funds and programmes, particularly those concerning indigenous youth.”
- 05/20/16--09:13: Five 'super' crops that can change the world
- 05/30/16--07:00: Putting the Paris Agreement into Practice: Reflections from Bonn
- 06/07/16--00:53: Exclosure Zones, Biodiversity and Livelihoods
- 06/14/16--11:07: One woman's story working for development in a fragile country
- 06/15/16--05:41: Sending money home
- 06/16/16--06:42: IFAD Director presenting the Integrated Approach Pilot (IAP)
- 06/16/16--07:01: Promoting responsible land governance in West Africa
- 06/22/16--03:38: Training the trainers on Nutrition-Sensitive Agriculture
- 06/23/16--04:47: Digging down to the Roots of Resilience on World Environment Day
- Management and governance: to understand the roles and responsibilities of the IWUO; causes of conflicts and their resolution and the awareness of the members of IWUO on their rights related to access to water services; information and their collective power in holding their leaders accountable.
- Agronomy: to understand the steps and requirements for rice/vegetable cropping seasons; draft a cropping calendar with farmers trained in cooperatives and; facilitate exchange on techniques and inputs for production among rice/vegetable farmers.
- Technical irrigation and water management: to improve land preparation, field layout and land levelling to obtain a more equal distribution of water in the field; monitor operation and maintenance of canals and structures; review present water use/field irrigation methods and assess shortcomings; introduce possible alternative field irrigation methods and; assist farmers in defining a proper irrigation frequency and irrigation amounts.
- Monitoring and Review at IWUO, District and National levels: to self- evaluate the experience and areas for improvement; exchange of experiences with other IWUOs and; exchange experience with other projects, schemes, districts & national stakeholders.
- IWUOs are responsible for an annual work plan, a maintenance plan, irrigation scheduling, water delivery, regular maintenance and repairs, water fee collection and reporting;
- MINAGRI is responsible for monitoring, training and advice;
- The District is responsible for coordination and monitoring through the District Irrigation Steering Committee, providing regular support and monitoring & evaluation.
- Improved scheme management practices, resulting in increased rice production, with some farmers attaining yields as high as 9 tons per hectare;
- Profitable vegetable production thanks to successful irrigation activities in hillside schemes;
- Increased water fee collection by IWUOs, in some schemes nearing 100%. Daniel Tuyishime, President of IWUO Cyunuzi 2 explains “success in water fee collection is guaranteed by timely providing all inputs required by farmers, before requesting them to pay”
- Increased IWUO self-reliance by finding solutions for their needs without relying on project support (e.g.: some IWUOs are constructing their own office including Cyunuzi, Rukizi, Rwabutazi, and Kinnyogo).
|Los mapas culturales formaron parte de la exposición queacompañó el evento de cierre del Proyecto Sierra Norte en la Cámara de Comercio de Lima ©Annibale Ferreri|
|From righ to left: Adolfo Brizzi, Innocent Musabyimana, Sana Jatta,|
Francisco Pichon, Claver Gasirabo and Aimable Ntukanyagwe
From 21 to 24 March 2016, Sana F.K. Jatta, Director, East and Southern Africa Division and Adolfo Brizzi, Director, Policy and Technical Advisory Division headed an IFAD delegation to visit Rwanda. They were accompanied by Francisco Pichon, IFAD Country Director for Tanzania and Country Programme Manager for Rwanda and Aimable Ntukanyagwe, Country Programme Officer based in IFAD Country in Rwanda. It was the first such joint visit by two IFAD Directors focusing exclusively on the Rwanda country programme.
“This mission was an opportunity to demonstrate IFAD’s strong support and commitment to the Rwandan programme”, Jatta said. “We also reviewed with the government officials the status and possible future directions of IFAD’s engagement in Rwanda,” he added.
|One of the working sessions in Kigali with projects staff|
|Francisco Pichon of IFAD delegation visiting the communal|
The delegation jointly headed by Jatta and Brizzi also met the representatives of United Nations
|Sana Jatta and Adolfo Brizzi of IFAD exchanging with |
Innocent Musabyimana, Permanent Secretary of MINAGRI
The IFAD mission visited a number of sites where the Kirehe Community-based Watershed Management Project is working and other activities in the Kirehe district. These included:
• the Sagatare dam reservoir, which is used to irrigate around 205 hectares, mainly under paddy
• the Kirehe Rice Plant Ltd, partly co-funded by the World Bank, with a plant capacity of 6 metric tonnes and storage capacity for 3,000 tonnes, operated as a typical public-private-producers-partnership (4P) with IFAD support
|Visit of rice milling plant in Kirehe|
• a young household benefitting from the one cow per poor household programme under the “pass-on the gift” scheme implemented by Heifer International through a contract with KWAMP, combined with a flexi biogas digester that has proved very successful.
The mission also visited a maize warehouse and drying floor funded under Climate Resilient Post Harvest and Agribusiness Support Project (PASP). In all these places, the IFAD team met and discussed with project participants, private millers and service providers about their experiences, and witnessed first-hand 4P schemes running successfully.
Brizzi made a presentation on leveraging finance for smallholder agriculture and scaling up results to a large gathering chaired by Innocent Musabyimana, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Agriculture and Animal Resources. It was followed by a lively discussion. The presentation was attended by the CEO of the National Agriculture Export Board, representatives from the Rwanda Agriculture Board, all IFAD-funded projects teams, business development service providers, the Rwanda Business Development Fund, and others.
The IFAD delegation concluded the visit to Rwanda by meeting Claver Gatete, Minister of Finance and Economic Planning and his team. The delegation thanked the Government of Rwanda for their support to the IFAD10 Replenishment and for the strong leadership in the successful implementation of IFAD-supported operations in the country. The implementation of the PASP was discussed and the Minister of Finance and Economic Planning challenged his own team to focus on expediting implementation, with the concerted effort of MINAGRI. This is the only project in the portfolio that has not picked up sufficient speed since its effectiveness in March 2014.
“The very strong interest and attention provided to the IFAD team was another demonstration of the strong interest by the Government of Rwanda to see the partnership with IFAD become even stronger and go to the next level,” Jatta said.
“It is worth noting that a good deal of the discussion as laid out by the Minister himself was a description of IFAD’s approach to leveraging private sector involvement in agriculture and the 4P model,” he added.
|IFAD delegation and project staff delegation in the field|
“In his view, other donors should provide money to IFAD so that we can expand our scaling up potential especially through the mobilization of private partners, and our financial instruments to foster more inclusive markets,” Jatta concluded.
Since this mission is unusual within IFAD, we approached Périn Saint Ange, Associate Vice President in charge of Programme Management Department to have his view.
“The work in Rwanda is best practice. The joint East and Southern Africa Division and Policy and Technical Advisory Division Directors’ visit supported by Country Director for Tanzania and Country Programme Manager for Rwanda is also a very good way to engage with authorities and key partners at country level,” Saint Ange said.
Written by: Mathilde Zins
Trees protect the earth, feed communities and play multiple essential roles in the livelihoods of rural people living around the world.
Earth Day, celebrated annually on 22 April, is an occasion to honour the close connection we maintain with Mother Earth.
This year, organizations are raising awareness about the important function of trees in sustaining and protecting our planet.
This is true for small farmers too. Trees play a vital part in their livelihoods and communities, as they nourish the people and help conserve the land that they live on.
Did you know that trees help combat climate change by absorbing excess and harmful CO2 from our atmosphere? In fact, in a single year, an acre of mature trees absorbs the amount of CO2 produced by driving the average car 26,000 miles. That's the same distance as going right around the world at the equator... and a little bit more.
Trees also clean the air we breathe when they absorb odours and pollutant gases (nitrogen oxides, ammonia, sulphur dioxide and ozone) and filter particulates out of the air by trapping them on their leaves and bark.
Trees can help communities achieve long-term economic and environmental sustainability and provide food, energy and income.
This is why IFAD works with small farmers on projects that involve the sustainable management of trees and forests.
How are trees important to the lives of small farmers? Let us count the ways.
Trees help farmers conserve rainwater
Trees help farmers improve soil
Poor soil fertility is one of the main obstacles to improving food production in Africa.
Trees help farmers combat climate change
Did you know that forests cover one third of the Earth's land mass, performing vital functions around the world? Around 1.6 billion people – including the members of more than 2,000 indigenous cultures – depend on forests for their livelihood.
Trees help farmers increase income and food
Trees can be grown as cash crops and they can be used for carbon trading – both activities help give small farmers a steady income. And with a steady income, small farmers and their families have access to a nutritious and healthy diet.
Trees help farmers avoid desertification
Desertification is often the result of human activity and can therefore be prevented or controlled by human effort. Planting trees can be part of this.
Indeed, up to 300 000 hectares of lands in Burkina Faso have been rehabilitated using this technique. This is not only helping these farmers to adapt to climate change, it has also increased their harvests.
Trees help farmers preserve ecosystems
Forests are among the most important repositories of terrestrial biodiversity. Together, tropical, temperate and boreal forests offer very diverse habitats for plants, animals and micro-organisms .
Join us in celebrating Earth Day – share your stories of #Trees4Earth.
|Post offices can play a powerful role in rural development by performing key financial services such as|
extending access to remittances sent by migrants.
Unlike banks, post offices can rely on an impressive network of branches, out of which 80 per cent are located in rural areas. Moreover, post offices often enjoy a high level of trust, especially by the underbanked who tend to avoid banks.
In 2015 alone, the African continent received an impressive US$65 billion in remittances from over 20 million of its citizens working abroad, contributing to the livelihood of their families and communities back home.
IFAD, in partnership with the European Union, has seen in the postal networks a unique opportunity to extend access to remittances, cashless payments and secure affordable financial services to the rural population in Africa.
On these promising basis IFAD and the EU have jointly agree to engage in the provision of concrete support to post offices through the African Postal Financial Services Initiative.
The level of remittance dependency for many African states is extremely high; in certain cases accounting for almost 20 per cent of their GDP.
The cost of sending money back home
Furthermore, while the global average cost of sending remittances is still at 7.4 per cent, Sub-Saharan Africa remains the most costly region in the world to send remittances to, with an average cost of 9.5 per cent in 2015 and many of the most expensive remittance corridors.
Post offices have a distinct comparative advantage in the remittance market in Africa. With a vast network of branches in remote towns and villages, coupled with a trained workforce, post offices provide remittance services (and in several countries also banking services) to rural Africans better than anyone.
In a recent baseline survey, IFAD measured the demand-side perspective about receiving and sending money via postal networks in peri-urban and rural areas of 11 African countries.
The findings were enlightening.
Not only remittance transactions were among the main reasons for using post offices in Africa, but also, in the choice of a remittance services provider, proximity, and reliability of pay-out locations were even more relevant than transaction costs alone.
In conclusion, rural African population are largely enthusiastic about the possibility of receiving remittances through their post offices, especially if this will enable them to access a broader range of financial services.
Strengthening the role of post officesWith the financial contribution of the European Union, IFAD and its partners (including the World Bank, Universal Postal Union, United Nations Capital Fund for Development, and the World Savings and Retail Banking Institute), have joined forces in four countries (Benin, Ghana, Madagascar and Senegal) to strengthen the position and role of the national post offices in providing remittances.
The aim is to provide remittances which are cheaper, faster, accessible in the most remote rural areas and, above all, with the possibility for the recipient to link them to additional financial services.
Direct technical assistance, provision of new technical equipment, operational support in remittance processes and staff training, coupled with the development of new marketing strategies and the forging of new partnerships with financial services providers, money transfer operators and mobile companies.
This is how IFAD and its partners are currently supporting the modernization of the four African postal operators in the four selected countries.
Launching new financial products
|Post offices have a distinct comparative advantage in the remittance market in Africa.|
The level of development and modernization of post offices in the four countries differs significantly. In this respect, while maintaining a common vision and approach, IFAD and its partners designed specific interventions taking into consideration each country’s existing remittance market.
In Senegal, the Initiative is supporting La Poste du Sénégal in opening new corridors and launching new financial products (e.g. a new card-based remittance transfer service linked with mobile systems, and insurance products).
In Benin, connectivity of post offices is a major issue; not all post offices are inter-connected, and the majority of work in rural branches is still on paper. The Initiative is supporting La Poste du Bénin in the modernization of its postal network to improve remittance operations by reducing processing time.
In Ghana, one of the main objectives of GhanaPost is to enable a larger number of post offices to provide remittance services.
With the assistance of IFAD and its partners, GhanaPost recently approved a plan for 2016 which includes more than 40 new offices enabled for processing international remittances and the activation of around 80 additional locations for remittances services by 2018.
Madagascar is one of the poorest countries of the South African region. Postal capacity is limited and cash management remains a factor of risk. The initiative addressed this aspect accompanying Paositra Malagasy in the development of a new cash management strategy which takes into account all aspects of the cash flow, from security to operational processes.
Certainly, some challenges still exist. Postal operators are aged public institutions and often reluctant to change. Given the size of their network of post offices, the structural weight and the high number of staff involved, strategic changes take time, and the concrete impact is not immediately visible.
However, the African continent is in continuous evolution - especially when it comes to new technologies - and African postal operators are willing to accept those challenges which will undoubtedly lead to modernization, bringing remittances and financial services closer to the rural poor.
Mauro Martini is the Remittances and Development Officer at IFAD.
Ruben Ussico, aged 69, cultivates maize and pumpkins in Gaza, Mozambique. Many farmers are being impacted|
by droughts that last longer than a single season, about rising sea levels and flash floods.
At IFAD, we believe that agriculture is a sector that holds the key to addressing the complex problem of climate change. We also believe that smallholder farmers are the agents that can transform agriculture and make it part of the solution. There are 500 million smallholder farms in the world; and over 2 billion people depend on small farms for their livelihoods. Many of these farms are located in fragile and marginal areas, such as dry lands, flood plains or hillsides.
As the global climate changes, we hear more reports from smallholders about rains coming unexpectedly, about droughts that last longer than a single season, about rising sea levels and flash floods. All of these phenomena threaten how we practice agriculture. They threaten the very basis of our civilization.
Making climate finance work for poor rural people
Smallholder farmers not only need our help, they most certainly merit it. When smallholders have better access to weather information, a more diversified asset base, and are better connected with institutional and financial networks, they can help us feed a growing planet. At the same time, they can help restore degraded ecosystems, increase the resilience of value chains, and reduce agriculture’s carbon footprint.
Much of this thinking has fed into IFAD’s Adaptation for Smallholder Agriculture Programme, or ‘ASAP’, which we launched in 2012. ASAP is IFAD’s flagship programme to make climate finance work for poor rural households in developing countries. With its financing of US$360 million, ASAP is now the world’s largest adaptation programme for smallholders.
Delivering timely climate information to smallholders
As a means of scaling up ambitious action on climate change, IFAD is aligning its country strategies and project investments with our member states’ intended nationally determined contributions, or ‘INDCs’.
To date, 65 per cent of INDCs have defined agriculture as a priority for adaptation actions, and 77 per cent have defined it as a priority for mitigation actions. This sends a positive signal that countries support better resilience for smallholders on the ground, and stronger policy engagement at the local and national level to implement greener farming practices. Through its investment activities, IFAD is already putting INDCs into action.
Many ASAP-supported projects have a strong focus on improving weather forecasts and delivering timely climate information to smallholders. They build the capacity of cooperatives, women’s groups and extension services to apply climate-smart technologies, such as biogas, solar pumping or drought-resistant crop varieties. And they invest in climate-resilient infrastructure such as all-weather roads and post-harvest storage houses, to name a few.
Through these projects, IFAD is helping to make the agricultural sector in over 50 countries more resilient to climate change and reduce its carbon footprint. We have also committed to an ambitious plan to mainstream climate change aspects into all new investments activities by 2018.
IFAD believes it can play a unique role in harnessing the full potential of climate finance to safeguard smallholders’ livelihoods and empower them to contribute to effective climate action. We look forward to adding these contributions to the efforts of the wider United Nations system.
Margarita Astralaga is the Director of the Environment and Climate Division at IFAD.
|Opening of workshop by Liberia's Minister of Agriculture|
and the Country Programme Manager
|Participants writing draft PCR|
|Participants writing draft PCR|
drew from the “writeshop” methodology, which is an intense process that brings together a range of relevant stakeholders with different perspectives on a subject. Theo objective is to produce a written document/publication in a short time. The PCR was divided into sections and assigned to individual participants. Several authors contributed to each section of the report and a team of facilitators (CPM, M&E consultant and WCA regional team) provided support and guidance during the exercise. At the end of the day the different contributions were integrated into one document.
On the third day the draft PCRs were presented and participants were allowed to ask for clarifications or provide suggestions. The projects then sat together to see what information was still missing and to draw out a roadmap towards the completion of the PCR.
Overall, the workshop has proven to have been very instrumental in facilitating the sharing of experiences between projects, identifying successes and challenges, and drawing lessons for the PCR. It also allowed to clarify IFAD's current institutional requirements with regards to PCRs and plan for the next steps along the PCR process.
By Rahul Antao
|Indigenous youth discuss key issues at the 15th Session of the Permanent Forum on|
Indigenous Issues in New York. Photo Credit: GIYC
As young guardians of biodiversity, Indigenous youth play an important role in sustainable development, long-term food security, responding to climate change while safeguarding the earth’s ecosystem13 May Rome -“As Indigenous youth, we will continue to organize ourselves in line with the collective processes of our ancestors in defence of our lands, territories, transmission of our traditional knowledge and historical memory,” said Dali Angel, co-chair of the Global Indigenous Youth Caucus (GIYC) in aninterview with UN-DESA prior to the 15th Session of the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues.
“We will continue our intergenerational dialogue and raise our voices against any injustice and violation of our individuals and collective rights.”
Angel’s statement echoes the many voices of young indigenous people who are overtly expressive of their contribution towards a sustainable future where they rightfully see themselves as pivotal part of the transformation.
This comes as no surprise, especially since indigenous youth have a big opportunity at stake.
Indigenous youth take on 80 per cent of the world’s biological diversity passed down over generations by their forefathers for their own custodianship. As the young guardians of biodiversity, they will be handed this baton of responsibility and play an important role in sustainable development, long-term food security, responding to climate change while safeguarding the earth’s ecosystem.
But to do it, they will have to overcome some of their biggest social hurdles and challenges of development. Despite some of the advances and inclusion into the policy arena, indigenous communities and their youth continue to face forms of discrimination and exclusion.
In many ways, this has left their societies vulnerable to unrest and societal disturbances.
Indigenous children and youth are particularly vulnerable to structural discrimination and marginalization, resulting in alarmingly high levels of poverty and poor health. Young indigenous women are especially disadvantaged, affecting their opportunities to enter the job market and their ability to make decisions about their reproductive lives.
On 9 May 2016, the world’s many indigenous leaders gathered in New York for the 15th session of the Forum. The theme for this year’s forum was Peace, Conflict and Resolution. Amongst the participants is a cohort of young and enthusiastic indigenous people of the GIYC who presented their views, statements and recommendations for young indigenous people.
With the support of IFAD, the GIYC organised a preparatory meeting on the 8th of May as a precursor to the event to ensure that the voice of the youth is an organised one that expresses the collective views of all indigenous youth present.
'Youth are the agents of social transformation'In line with this year’s theme, Dali mentions that there are several concerns for indigenous youth worldwide, each in their own context and all equally important.
Yet, she goes on to reassuringly mention “(indigenous) youth are the agents of social transformation” and advocates the need for young people to return to traditional and communal forms of organisation that existed prior to conflicts.
She also reminds us how education is one of the major concerns orbiting indigenous youth and that the ability to remain in the educational system should “incorporate the cultural, linguistic, social needs and the recovery of indigenous peoples historical memory, traditions, culture and traditional knowledge.”
In recent years, intercultural and bilingual education has been recognized and such programmes have had a positive impact on indigenous peoples' communities.
Evaluations show that children who participate in intercultural and bilingual education classes perform better, both in their first and second language. The use of indigenous languages and the inclusion of indigenous knowledge in the curriculum have increased the interest of families and students in their history, and in their present and future learning and development opportunities.
|Photo Credit: GIYC|
According to a recent article published by the UN Economic and Social Council the high level of suicide rates amongst indigenous youth are related to the ‘severe - and often invisible – discriminatory pressures they are confronted in reconciling past colonial injustices with their search for a better future’.
Speaking on the recent alarming rate of suicides amongst indigenous youth, the UN Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth, Ahmad Alhendawi, also addressed the Permanent Forum on the topic of self-harm.
Ahmad said that the struggles of young indigenous peoples are also embedded in the “socio-economic challenges, marginalization, feelings associated with loss of culture and self-determination.”
However, Ahmad points out that even with the rise of such issues we should not look at indigenous youth as liabilities but rather as assets, stating that “Indigenous youth are powerful messengers of their communities” in bringing their diverse voices to the surface and that there is a need to listen carefully and be sensitive to their concerns and priorities.
Summarizing the way forward, Ahmad says there are three key points:
Rahul Antao is a junior consultant for the youth desk at IFAD.
On International Day for Biological Diversity, IFAD calls attention to five super crops that have strong nutritional properties and the ability to withstand climate change.
20 May 2016 - Did you know that only 20 crop species provide for 90 per cent of the world's food requirements? And that wheat, maize, and rice account for 60 per cent of the world's diet?
Research shows that throughout history there have been around 30,000 edible plants, out of which only 7,000 have been cultivated or collected as food.
Why is this so important?
Biodiversity is the foundation for life and essential for ecosystems. Having a diverse range of crops to plant is crucial for smallholder farmers and rural communities to improve their harvest yields, fight against malnutrition and adapt to climate change.
A rich biodiversity can also help rural people improve their livelihoods, which is the theme of this year's International Day, celebrated annually on 22 May.
In honour of the day, IFAD is putting the spotlight on five ancient and forgotten crops, showing the great potential they hold for smallholder farmers in providing improved nutrition, income and helping to adapt to climate change.
Here are some interesting facts about five 'super' crops that may surprise you.
Want to try cassava at home? Here is a recipe for cassava bread with coconut and anise seeds.
Learn eight interesting ways to cook with millets.
Looking for a healthy boost? Try this recipe: In India, Mexico, Nepal, and Peru, Amaranth is a traditional ingredient for breakfast porridge.
Sorghum's health benefits are also immense. Sorghum includes more antioxidants then blueberries, high protein and fibre, and no gluten - which makes it a perfect dietary grain for those with celiac disease.
IFAD is supporting a number of projects that are reintroducing sorghum to rural communities. For farmers in eastern Kenya, for example, the dry season is getting longer. Climate change has become a daily challenge - rivers are drying up and farmers are struggling to get access to water. With less rain, three out of the last four maize harvests had failed. Then farmers from a local cooperative heard that sorghum did better than maize in dry conditions. They decided to try it out.
By Christopher Neglia
|The Rome-based food and agriculture agencies of the United Nations recently met in Bonn to discuss how climate finance can be used to do development better. Photo: IISD|
The Paris Agreement commits developed countries to allocate US$100 billion per year to mitigation and adaptation actions from 2020 onwards. What does this mean for smallholder farmers on the frontlines of climate impacts in the developing world?
At the UNFCCC's Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice (SBSTTA) meeting in Bonn last week, the Rome-based food and agriculture agencies of the United Nations met to discuss how climate finance can be used to do development better.
The success of the Paris Agreement will ultimately rest on the collective ability of Parties to reach the targets they have set down in their Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs). Here, the Rome-based agencies have a strategic role to play, in particular by supporting smallholder farmers in the adoption of sustainable and resilient farming systems.
In his opening statement, Dr. Martin Frick of the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) said that about 77 per cent of developing countries have identified agriculture as a priority area for mitigation actions, while 65 per cent have identified it as a priority area for adaptation actions. Indeed, this makes sense because most developing countries lack carbon-intensive industries, and therefore most of their emission-savings will come from the agriculture and forest sectors. Meanwhile, activities that contribute to climate adaptation also tend to offer mitigation co-benefits.
Since 2012, IFAD has been channelling climate finance to smallholders through its flagship Adaptation for Smallholder Agriculture Programme (ASAP). Working in over 36 countries with a portfolio of US $366 million, it is the largest adaptation fund dedicated to smallholders worldwide. According to IFAD’s Roshan Cooke, ASAP is funding both soft and hard adaptation approaches.
Soft adaptation includes enhancement of agriculture extension to include climate-resilient agricultural practices, promotion of farmer field schools, research on resilient crop varieties, early warning systems, and strengthening institutions at all levels to respond to climate impacts. Hard adaptation includes investments in small-scale infrastructure such as irrigation systems, improved storage facilities, soil and water conservation measures, renewable energy systems and climate-resilient access roads.
Madeleine Diouf from the Ministry of Environment in Senegal added that smallholders in her country are clearly being affected by climate change. Senegal was one of the first countries to have a project approved by the Green Climate Fund (GCF). The Increasing the Resilience of Ecosystems and Communities project aims to strengthen national capacity to develop desalinization and land management plans to respond to the pernicious trend of salt-water intrusion encroaching on agricultural lands.
Rawleston Moore of the Global Environment Facility (GEF) also participated in the discussion. Part of the mandate of the GEF coming from Paris is to support countries to implement their INDCs in different sectors, which may include other objectives related to land degradation and food security. The GEF, along with the GCF is responsible for financing projects with funds from the Paris agreement’s financial mechanism.
Finally, Tania Osejo of the World Food Programme (WFP) emphasized that by 2050, climate change could increase the risk of malnutrition and food insecurity by 20 per cent. To deal with this growing challenge, massive increases in investment are needed. Osejo also pointed to the cross-cutting nature of climate change, which requires integrated responses that involve research institutions, governments and NGOs.
All of the participants recognized that climate finance represents a chance for the global agriculture community to drive action and contribute to the accelerated implementation of the Paris Agreement.
Christopher Neglia is a Climate and Environment consultant at IFAD.
Réunion entre le projet ASAP et le projet KWAMP à KIGALI
|Elevage intensif (RWANDA)|
|Elevage extensif (MALI)|
Micro-barrage pont réalisé par KWAMP sur financement FIDA à KIREHE
By David F. Paqui
|Rym Ben Zid, IFAD's Country Programme Manager for Burundi|
This May I went to meet her to learn more about how the situation in Burundi is impacting her work, the main challenges rural people in the country are currently facing, what IFAD is doing and what more needs to be done.
Ben Zid said that the rural people in the country are faced with many significant challenges. She told me that the effects of climate change are destroying their food crops.
"Youth unemployment in rural areas is a problem, because of population growth farmers have less and less land area to cultivate," said Ben Zid "Small farmers are also suffering greatly from the political crisis in the country because some donors are not providing aid to allow the government to subsidize fertilizers."
Another key issue, says Ben Zid, is that as a result of El Niño, there is a risk that farmers in some areas in Northern Burundi may lose their rice crop due to the flooding.
If they lose their crop, they will not be able to pay back the loans they took to buy inputs and they will not be able to purchase inputs for the next planting season either. To limit the damage, the IFAD-supported Agricultural Intensification and Value-enhancing Support Project is helping the farmers to repair the irrigation systems.
|Irrigation system built by IFAD supported project|
Ben Zid also explained the important role that IFAD is playing in post-conflict reconstruction in the rural areas. With the support of IFAD, the farmers have been able to increase their rice production and their incomes by adopting the system of rice intensification and investments in irrigation scheme construction.
|System of Rice Intensification IFAD supported value chain project - PRODEFI|
For example, the solidarity chain of the cows has contributed to rebuilding and strengthening social relations among the various ethnic groups. The system starts by identifying the target group within the communities using a participatory and inclusive approach.
|Woman farmer happy to receive a cow hugging the farmer who passed it to her|
Then the project gives one pregnant cow or sows to each beneficiary. When the cow (or sows) has the calf the beneficiary passes it on to another beneficiary that might be from another ethnic group but who is able to maintain the calves or piglets.
With the cows or sows, the farmers have organic fertilizer or manure that also helps to increase their staple crop production and ensure the household food security and nutrition. At least, 10 000 households benefited from livestock development activities.They also sell milk to increase their income.
According to Rym, women are at the heart of IFAD’s activities in Burundi. In Burundian society, rural women are the most vulnerable group. One of the sub components of our operations is to provide legal support to women who are oppressed by their husbands or other family members.
With legal support, many women have been able to fight for their rights and in so doing improve the stability of their households and become agents of development and growth of their communities. Many women in IFAD's project areas were trained to engage in livestock rearing, in business, in cropping etc.
|Rénilde Buhembe, Presidente of Cooperative in Bugendana|
"We have built women's capacity and they are leaders of various cooperatives in their communities," said Ben Zid.
In this fragile situation of the country, investing in young rural people is investing in peace and stability. Without jobs, they have nothing to lose in joining the rebellions.
The projects IFAD is supporting in the country are targeting youth especially. Some of the youth are trained to gain the skills to create jobs for themselves and we are seeing more and more young rural entrepreneurs in the provinces where IFAD is working with the Government of Burundi.
|Young people at the training centre|
“The political crisis is having negative impacts on rural people although less than on urban people and we do not know when it will end,” she said.
"Smallholder farmers are having problem purchasing seeds and fertilizers to produce crops. The local rural finance institutions are receiving more and more requests that they cannot meet," she continued.
"The women self-help groups are also suffering from lack of microcredit. IFAD is designing a new microfinance project to help the country to meet the needs of rural finance services for the smallholder farmers and we need to move very fast."
According to Ben Zid, there is a risk that the smallholder farmers who assure the food and nutrition security of their households, and are increasing their incomes, may fall back in food and nutrition insecurity and poverty.
"If we don’t want to compromise the sustainability of our activities in Burundi, we need to move quickly for the approval and the implementation of the new microfinance project in the pipeline," she said.
"The project will contribute to improving food security by giving rural people access to production credit and supporting vulnerable groups with access to micro-loans to develop income generation activities and to develop value chain by providing marketing credits to cooperatives."
I cannot conclude without asking Ben Zid about her own security. She just smiles and says “if you believe in development, you cannot run away and leave alone the rural people who need your contribution, who need IFAD.
“My mom is a war orphan. There are still many orphans here in Burundi and I am happy to be here with them, work with them for the development of their communities."
David F. Paqui is the Regional Communications Officer for IFAD's East and Southern Africa Division and West and Central Africa Division.
16 June marks the second global observance of the International Day of Family Remittances– launched in 2015 by the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) to encourage the public and private sectors, as well as civil society, to do more to maximize the impact of remittances in the developing world.
Remittances, the money migrant workers send home to their families, provide crucial financial support for millions of people in developing countries.
For years, migrants worked in the shadows of globalization while their remittances went uncounted by governments and aid agencies. Over the past 15 years, however, the true size of their contribution has come to light, and most importantly the opportunities these funds present in helping families and communities escape poverty.
Here are four surprising facts you may not have known about remittances sent home from migrants.
Remittances are crucial for migrant's families, often representing more than 50 per cent of their income. These funds allow families to address their basics needs such as food, housing, health and education, but also help them to raise their living standards above subsistence levels. They can help rebuild the fabric of societies, spark economic development, and bring stability necessary for a hopeful future.
Fact: In 2015, almost 250 million economic migrants living outside their countries of origin sent about US$450 billion in remittances to their families back home.
In the Philippines, a financial education programme supported by IFAD is helping families of migrant workers turn remittances into successful businesses. They learn about budgeting and how to better invest the money they receive from abroad. For Lily Bruhl, whose husband is one of 10 million Filipinos currently working outside the country, this knowledge was life changing.
''The first thing I learned was that if you receive remittances from your husband, save first before you spend,” she said. “It also made me realize that I have to be ready for the reintegration of my husband because if I am not going to prepare, then who will prepare for us?''
With money saved from her husband's remittances, Lily soon decided to invest in a fish farm. Now she is running a successful business, and providing jobs to others in the community.
Fact: 30 to 40 per cent of remittances are sent to rural areasLike Lily, when given the opportunity, many rural families are willing to save (sometimes just small amounts) and invest in activities such as small businesses. This in turn contributes to job creation, better food security, and ultimately a better future for families and their communities.
"Today we honour migrant workers, their families and their stories of hope, separation and sacrifice," Kanayo F. Nwanze, President of IFAD, told those attending last year’s inaugural commemoration of the International Day of Family Remittances. "We also recognise their vital contribution to their families at home and to the development of their nations."
Nwanze added that remittances could play a critical role in transforming poor communities if both migrants and their families at home were given more options to invest their funds, creating opportunities for business development and employment.
The remittances from the Somali diaspora in Europe and the United States have resulted in targeted investments that have had a positive impact on Somalia's agriculture sector. Through the Somali AgriFood Fund, six business owners got financing for more than US$435,000 and are expected to generate close to 200 jobs and open new markets for about 15,000 small-scale producers in the agriculture and fisheries sectors. Somalia is estimated to receive over US$1,3 billion annually in remittances, exceeding official aid to the country.
The amount of remittances sent home is equivalent to around four times official development assistance and exceeds foreign direct investment inflows in most developing countries. It is estimated that over the 15-year period the UN’s new Global Development Goals have set to end poverty, migrants abroad will have sent an accumulated US$7,5 trillion to their hometowns in developing countries. This is a testament to the transformative potential of remittances.
Fact: IFAD estimates that one out of seven people – more than one billion individuals - are directly impacted by remittances.
Remittances are crucial in fragile states or disaster-affected regions. They are often the only income families have, and can play a role in the reconstruction and stabilization of those states.
Fact: More than 90 per cent of the world’s poorest people do not have access to savings accounts, loans, insurance or any convenient way to transfer moneyThere is a direct correlation between financial exclusion and poverty.
For remittances to work for families and for development, it is crucial to improve access to basic financial services, such as savings and credit, but also to provide families with non-financial services adapted to their needs, such as technical assistance for business development or financial education programmes.
Lowering the cost of sending remittances can also have a tremendous impact, according Pedro De Vasconcelos, IFAD Senior Technical Specialist and Coordinator of the Financing Facility for Remittances. ''In the case of Europe, reducing the cost of sending remittances by one per cent would add up to a US$1 billion savings for those sending and receiving remittances.”
Join us in celebrating the International Day. Share your activities on social media using #FamilyRemittances.
|©IISD/ENB | Francis Dejon|
|©IISD/ENB | Francis Dejon|
The promote secure tenure rights and equitable access to land, fisheries and forests as a means of eradicating hunger and poverty, supporting sustainable development and enhancing the environment. They were officially endorsed by the Committee on World Food Security on 11 May 2012. Since then implementation has been encouraged by G20, Rio+ 20, United Nations General Assembly and Francophone Assembly of Parliamentarians.
The Guidelines serve as a reference and set out principles and internationally accepted standards for practices for the responsible governance of tenure. They provide a framework that States can use when developing their own strategies, policies, legislation, programmes and activities. They allow governments, civil society, the private sector and citizens to judge whether their proposed actions and the actions of others constitute acceptable practices.
States have a unique role in the development, implementation and enforcement of policy and law, and through the administration of tenure, including through courts, registration of tenure rights, valuation, taxation and spatial planning. Courts and government agencies responsible for the administration of tenure should try to deliver equal services to all, including those in remote locations. Services should be provided promptly and efficiently, and without requesting bribes for services. IPAR sensitised over 100 parliamentarians from the four countries on the VGGTs. In addition, the assessments of the status of land governance at country level, carried out in a participatory manner by the World Bank, were updated by taking the Guidelines into consideration.
Civil society organizations can work to raise awareness and assist people to enjoy and protect their tenure rights. They can promote the participation of the public in decision-making processes. IPAR has trained more than 200 members of civil society organisations (including women and youth groups) and leaders of farmers’ organisations from the four countries to strengthen their participation in policy processes.
Raising awareness of journalists
Journalists can play a key role in promoting and raising awareness about the VGGTs. IPAR has therefore trained over 150 journalists from both the print and electronic media from Mali, Mauritania, Senegal and The Gambia. This is allowing them to analyse and report on ongoing land reform processes and agricultural investments in the target countries according to the Guidelines. In addition, in Senegal a network has been created for journalists reporting on land governance.
Multi-stakeholder platforms have been set up
As encouraged by the VGGTs and with the support of IPAR, four multi-stakeholder platforms and frameworks at national level have been set up to collaborate on the implementation of these Guidelines; to monitor and evaluate the implementation in their jurisdictions; and to evaluate the impact on improved governance of tenure of land, fisheries and forests, and on improving food security and the progressive realization of the right to adequate food in the context of national food security, and sustainable development.
Improving the governance of tenure in the Senegal River Basin
Building on the results of this IFAD-supported initiative, IPAR and the Food and Agriculture Organisation is now supporting the implementation of the Guidelines in the Senegal River Basin. The new project is responding to an increasing demand from numerous actors in the Basin over the past few years - especially representatives from civil society, farmers’ and pastoralists’ organizations, local authorities, etc. - to discuss and improve governance of tenure and accountability in the context of new investments in agriculture being made by public and private investors. Given the importance of responsible land governance for its target groups, IFAD-supported projects that are operational in the area will be involved in these discussions.
I just returned from the official launch of a regional project to support IFAD's initiatives on nutrition-sensitive agriculture. This event took place on 9-10 June, 2016 in Lusaka Zambia. It was all about a grant project for strengthening capacity of local actors on nutrition-sensitive agri-food value chain in Zambia and Malawi in collaboration with McGill University of Canada, and other partners including WorldFish and Biodiversity.
In International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), one of the instruments to advance smallholder farming is regional grant. The grant is awarded to institutions and organizations for strengthening the capacities linked to agricultural and rural transformation.
I was delighted with the level of participation and representation from IFAD country office in Zambia, IFAD-loan programmes in both Malawi and Zambia, National food and nutrition commission in Zambia, the ministries of agriculture in Zambia and Malawi.
Also in attendance were the representatives from McGill, WorldFish, Zambia Agriculture Research Institute, Self Help Africa (SHA), Food science department in the University of Zambia, Small Producers Development and Transporters Association (SPRODETA) in Malawi, and Lilongwe University of Natural Science and Research (LUANAR), Malawi.
|Group photo of the participants|
Can we afford not to invest in nutrition?
“Nutrition can no longer be seen as a social issue, it is a multisectoral issue” said Abla Benhammouche, IFAD representative and country Director in Zambia during her opening speech. Benhammouche emphasised the need to invest in nutrition and went further to inform participants that the governments of Malawi, Zambia and IFAD had committed to nutrition. Last month in Lusaka, Zambia the African Leaders made an economic case for increased nutrition investments during the May, 2016 African Development Bank Annual Meeting. Benhammouche echoed that in this project, IFAD is bringing US$2million while the other partners are contributing $654,000.
In reinforcing the relevance of nutrition, Patrick Nalere the Regional Director of WorldFish said “Without nutrition, whatever we think of doing, we are likely to go wrong” Nalere linked this project to one of the key priority areas of WorldFish-Nutrition and value chain. According to Nalere the initiatives in this project is one of the best nutrition related projects involving IFAD and WorldFish collaboration. And it is special in the sense that the project will go beyond poverty reduction and demonstrate the role of fish in addressing malnutrition”.
On the same note, the Government of Zambia and Malawi expressed delight and welcomed the project initiatives. “As a ministry we now believe that nutrition issues are not merely cross-cutting issues but key areas of focus” said Charles Sondashi, Deputy Director Ministry of Agriculture. He gave assurance of the Zambian government’s commitment toward supporting this project.
Furthermore, Mofu Musonda, Deputy Director of National Food and Nutrition Commission reiterated that the government of Zambia has recognized that nutrition issues particularly under nutrition in the country can be resolved through enhancing a number of agrifood value chain.
The Malawi counterpart, Martha Mwale, ministry of Agriculture, Malawi said “this project is coming at the right time when Malawi is facing challenges of nutrition and a lot has been lost due to issues of malnutrition”. According to the cost of hunger report, Malawi is losing MWK 147 billion Malawi Kwacha (US$ 597 million) due to child under-nutrition.
The event went on to a second day June 10, 2016 for implementation planning.
Opportunity was given to each of the IFAD loan programmes to provide insight on their respective programmes interventions to identify the areas for linkages and support by the grant project. Similarly the project partners presented their respective areas of comparative advantage within the project activities.
According to Elia Manda, a preventative of SHA, it strives to help smallholder farmers in promoting small livestock, crop production, seed multiplication and other multi sector approaches to nutrition for under five children and pregnant women and appropriate child feeding practices coupled with emphasis on dietary diversification.
SHA gives loans to small scale farmers for instance the fish caging project in Siavonga, Southern province of Zambia was designed to benefit women. The women are engaged in aquaculture on a small scale and the produce is sold to the local community.
ZARI is also another partner that specializes in legume mainly beans. They have designed a recipe booklet on beans in collaboration with SHA.
SPRODETA, a local NGO in Malawi works with smallholder farmers who are prone to natural hazards and malnutrition. Allen Kumwenda, Executive Secretary of SPRODETA echoed that SPRODETA approach to reach out to their target groups include awareness campaigns and entertainment designed for disseminating nutrition information.
The University of Zambia and LUANAR in Malawi are also partners that will be working on this project. Through the department of Food Science and Technology, the universities will carry out research aimed at investigating the nutritional properties of selected homegrown food.
An informative video on McGill University was shown highlighting its commitment to African continent, Food Security and nutrition. McGill will backstop technical activities in the project. “We have several years’ experience on value chain analysis, value addition, quality and nutrition analysis” said Michael Ngadi of McGill University.
A round table discussion was held on criteria for selecting project sites, identification of districts, priority value chain commodities and value added products to be developed. Project partners were tasked to develop specific activities for the project year one. And Ngadi requested partners to think of - technology transfer, knowledge development and skills - while preparing activities:
In order to sensitize partners on effective operationalization of project actions, Robert KOK, a professor in McGill University gave an overview of the project management, coordination and reporting structures.
Participants were passionate to contribute to IFAD efforts on nutrition in these countries with high rates of stunting (Zambia 40% and Malawi 42%).
Extension workers from all the provinces in Mozambique came to receive training on nutrition-sensitive agriculture in Maputo. This is the first structured training on nutrition provided to agricultural extension workers in the National Directorate of Agricultural Extension Services (DNEA), Mozambique. Agriculture extension plays vital roles in agriculture development, rural transformation and in addressing the issues of food and nutrition security.
Happily, I participated in this event to provide technical support in the training sessions involving 16 extensionists. The event took place at the Agrarian Extension center in Marracuene district, Maputo Province on 13th June - 17th June 2016. This training was organized by PRONEA Support Project (PSP) and DNEA.
|Group photo of the participants|
PSP is one of IFAD-supported programmes in Mozambique which has a focus on improving household food and nutrition security of subsistence farmers. In the efforts of achieving nutrition outcomes, PSP engaged a nutrition focal point with the responsibilities to facilitate nutrition mainstreaming activities including training of extension workers on nutrition-sensitive agriculture.
Seeing the enthusiasm and keen interest among the trainees, I felt so proud on the success of this training ably coordinated by the PSP-nutrition focal person, Francisco Jeronimo. Jeronimo challenged the participants to take the lead on this nutrition mainstreaming initiative in agriculture and rural development since they are the first set of extension workers receiving the training.
Nutrition is gaining so much attention in the world including Mozambique. “Chronic malnutrition is the main problem facing our country and we all have to join efforts to overcome this issue” said Marcela Libombo, a staff of DNEA during her opening remarks. She further reiterated that the attention for agricultural sector is now on farmers, children’s under 2 years, women of reproductive age, teachers, school children as well as activities within farmers field school (FFS).
The training session was official declared open by the Director of DNEA, Sandra Silva. Silva welcomed this kind of training in extension services as timely in the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security (MASA). She echoed that the creation of the MASA in 2015 was tasked with the duties and responsibilities for food security and good nutrition at National, Province and District levels. “I am pleased to announce that at national level, the DNEA will lead this initiative of Nutrition- Sensitive Agriculture” said Silva.
|The training session|
Focus of the training
• Enhanced nutrition knowledge to extension workers
• Communication skills to disseminate nutrition messages
• Technology transfer on food processing and storage
Expectation from participants
Participants were asked “what do you expect to acquire from this 5-day training?” They echoed the following;
• To transfer knowledge on how to process and cook nutritious diet to farmers
• To teach farmers the food that are nutrient dense
• To know when and what we should give to children, women and old people
• I hope to get more information to improve the food insecurity and malnutrition in my province
For diversity in the content of training, 7 facilitators from Technical Secretariat for Food Security and Nutrition, DNEA, FAO, IFAD and PROMER delivered presentations on different topics related to food and nutrition. PROMER- an IFAD-funded project in Mozambique shared the experiences of nutrition integration in the project interventions. Training sessions varied from presentations to working group sessions, field visits, evaluation and feedback.
The training event was concluded with the preparation of action plans by each province in order to conduct similar training at district levels.
On 6 May 2016, the operation and the maintenance of five large irrigation systems in the District of Kirehe in Rwanda, have been formally transferred to Irrigation Water Users Organisations (IWUOs) by the Ministry of Agriculture and Animal Resources. As such these are the first batch of IWUOs in Rwanda to formally sign an Irrigation Management Transfer Agreement (IMTA) - a tri-partite agreement between Rwanda Agricultural Board (RAB), District Authority and the IWUO.
In the week of 20 June 2016 a further seven IWUOs signed the agreement. The Mayor of Kirehe District co-signed the IMTA and said “Kirehe District is focused on sustainable development of its population. This means that Kirehe District’s cell and sector staff will continue to ensure that the IWUOs are working well and fulfilling their responsibilities."
The empowerment and capacity development of Irrigation Water User Organisations (IWUOs) have paved the way for Rwanda to take-over responsibility for Operation and Maintenance (O&M) of irrigation schemes in Kirehe district. We will work closely together with these IWUOs to ensure sustainable irrigation infrastructure,” said Louis Butare, Director General of Rwanda Agricultural Board (RAB).
|Cyunuzi Rice Marshland under irrigation. |
Credit: Viateur Karangwa
Kirehe Community-based Watershed Management Project
|Cyunuzi Dam. Credit: Viateur Karangwa|
New Approach to Capacity Development of Irrigation Water Users Organizations
|Kinoni I Dam. Credit: Viateur Karangwa|
Connecting farmers to district and national Levels
|Kirehe District Mayor receiving books providing summary of Main Investments.|
Credit: Viateur Karangwa