IFAD and partners to build resilience of smallholder farmers to climate change impacts in seven Sahelian Countries

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By Panagrimedia Reporter, March 8, 2024, Today, the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), launched the Africa Integrated Climate Risk Management Programme (AICRM): Strengthening Smallholder Farmers’ Resilience to Climate Change Impacts, with a workshop in Banjul, The Gambia. Dr Jyotsna Puri, Associate Vice-President of the Strategy and Knowledge Department (SKD) at IFAD, joined over 60 participants, including government representatives from the programme’s host countries, as well as financial and implementing partners. The event was chaired by the Gambian Minister of Agriculture, Dr Demba Sabally.

Through this new programme, IFAD is joining hands with the African Development Bank (AfDB), the Africa Risk Capacity (ARC), Green Climate Fund (GCF) and the World Food Programme (WFP) to build the resilience of smallholder farmers to climate change impacts in seven Sahelian Countries of the Great Green Wall : Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Senegal and The Gambia.


AIRCM is a six-year programme (2023-2029) with total financing of US$143,4 million, including a GCF grant of US$82.85 million and grant contributions from IFAD (US$30,315 million), from AfDB (US$23 million) and from ARC (US$7.239 million).

The programme will build on IFAD’s current and past investments, creating synergies with the ongoing IFAD-supported G5 Sahel + Senegal regional programme. AICRM aims to strengthen and scale up the resilience and adaptive capacity of smallholder farmers and rural communities. It will restore more than 70,000 hectares of degraded forests and pastoral land and promote climate-smart agriculture on 200,000 hectares of land. Using an integrated climate risk management approach, the programme will mainly target crops like millet, maize, sorghum, and groundnuts, as well as livestock. It will also promote inclusiveness and non-discrimination toward disadvantaged and vulnerable groups, including persons with disabilities, and will focus particularly on youth and women.

“In response to multiple crises that expose the vulnerabilities of food systems, innovative investments can support the rural poor and the most vulnerable. For example, innovative technology allows for fast and accurate measurement of soil health, which is critical to the world’s food security, and enables farmers to know the best crops to plant, how much fertilizer and water is necessary to produce optimal yield, and when to harvest them,” said Dr Puri. “In addition, with early warning systems in place, smallholder farmers may pre-empt their exposure to climate shocks. And easy access to digital financial solutions and weather and crop insurance bolster their ability to absorb the adversity of those shocks.’’

Globally, over 500 million smallholder farms produce more than 80% of the food in some regions. These farms, mostly as smallholder family farmers, are vulnerable to the effects of climate change. In the Sahel region, agriculture plays a fundamental role in the economy, accounting for 40 per cent of regional Gross domestic product (GDP) and employs approximately two-thirds of the workforce.

“The AIRCM programme is fully aligned with The Gambia’s National Development Plan as well as our commitments on climate mitigation and adaptation. This, combined with the proven track record of cooperation among the stakeholders and development partners involved, boosts our confidence that the programme will be successfully implemented to impact positively on the livelihoods of our populations,’’ stated Dr Sabally.

The two-day workshop provided an opportunity for all stakeholders to review and discuss the programme’s objectives, activities, and the various arrangements, including legal, financial, monitoring and evaluation, that will be required to ensure its effective implementation. The AICRM will be implemented through a collaborative effort, engaging ministries of environment, government agencies, state ministries, the private sector, international and local NGOs, as well as local communities and farmers through cooperatives and farmers’ organizations and group


Tags: #African Development Bank, #World Food Programme, Demba Sabally, IFAD

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