GEF Programme Targets Smallholder Farmers in Africa
UN Photo/Gill Fickling
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The Global Environment Facility (GEF) will finance a US$116 million programme to promote long-term sustainability and production-system resilience among smallholder farmers in Burkina Faso, Burundi, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Swaziland, Tanzania and Uganda.

The ‘Integrated Approach Programme on Fostering Sustainability and Resilience for Food Security in sub-Saharan Africa' is aligned with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The Programme aims to support national policies and farmer practices that safeguard food production and frameworks for cooperation across the agricultural and environmental sectors.

12 July 2017: The Global Environment Facility (GEF) will finance a US$116 million programme to promote long-term sustainability and production-system resilience among smallholder farmers in Africa. The ‘Integrated Approach Programme on Fostering Sustainability and Resilience for Food Security in sub-Saharan Africa,’ which aligns with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), will be implemented in Burkina Faso, Burundi, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Swaziland, Tanzania and Uganda. The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) will lead the Programme, with the Programme Coordination Unit hosted by the World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF) of the CGIAR System Organization.

More than 80 government and development sector experts met in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, on 5 July 2017, to launch the Programme. Mohamed Bakarr, GEF, said that the Programme’s three primary components consist of platforms for multi-stakeholder engagement, scaled-up innovations, and systems monitoring and assessment. Margarita Astralaga, International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), stressed the importance of linking food production with ecosystems to protect the environment and ensuring that smallholder farmers can reach markets.

Margarita Astralaga, IFAD, stressed the importance of linking food production with ecosystems, to protect the environment.

More specifically, the Programme aims to support national policies and farmer practices that safeguard food production and frameworks for cooperation across the agricultural and environmental sectors. It seeks to foster sustainability and food security resilience by strengthening institutions, scaling up of integrated approaches for food security, and monitoring and assessing global environmental benefits. The Programme targets almost three million households in the 12 countries, and will: improve the management of 10 million hectares of land; focus on gender issues to address policy and culturally-related barriers to gender equity and women’s empowerment; and mitigate 10-20 million metric tonnes of carbon.

The Programme will engage the private sector to develop viable value chains for food crops. It will also include a regional hub to improve access to knowledge from scientific institutions and help inform policy and investment opportunities for managing ecosystem services in smallholder agriculture. Overall, the Programme aims to support farmers as they experiment with innovative tools tailored to their own contexts and help them to share their experiences. Specifically, it expects to contribute to SDG 2 (zero hunger), SDG 5 (gender equality) and SDG 15 (life on land). [GEF Press Release] [Brochure for the Integrated Approach Programme on Fostering Sustainability and Resilience for Food Security in sub-Saharan Africa]

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