Italy: IFAD provides loan-cum-grant to boost nutrition security in Guinea-Bissau

Rome, Italy (PANA) – Guinea-Bissau and the International Fund for Agricultural Development of the United Nations (IFAD) Wednesday signed in Rome, Italy, a US$4.7 million loan and $4.7 million grant agreement to finance the West African country’s Economic Development Project for the Southern Regions (PADES).

In a press statement, IFAD said that the new project aims to boost agricultural production, ensure food security and provide income diversification opportunities in the regions of Tombali, Quinara and Bolama-Bijagos in Guinea-Bissau.

It will help smallholder farmers, particularly rice and vegetable growers, and livestock producers to increase production by providing them with better access to markets, improved water management practices and extension services.

According to the UN agency, the project has a total cost of US$18.99 million, with the government of Guinea-Bissau contributing US$2.3 million and a contribution of US$1.7 million from beneficiaries. IFAD will provide an additional US$5 million.

Guinea-Bissau’s Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, João Anibal Pereira, and IFAD President Kanayo F. Nwanze, signed the financing agreement at the headquarters of the UN specialized agency in Rome, Italy.

“The PADES will boost crop and livestock production to support the country, which is the second largest net food importer per capita in the Franc CFA zone after Senegal, to improve food and nutrition security,” said Aïssa Touré, IFAD Country Programme Manager for Guinea-Bissau. "The smallholder farmers benefitting from the project will produce 79,000 tons of paddy and 1,800 tons of vegetables. Furthermore, they will raise 85,000 heads of livestock, mainly poultry.”

IFAD said that the project will be implemented by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development of Guinea-Bissau and will reach more than 31,000 beneficiaries, 40 per cent of whom will be women and 42 per cent young people.

The PADES project will create more than 3,200 jobs and other income generating opportunities. In addition, by 2021 the project will have rehabilitated 44.5 km of rural roads.

Since 1983, IFAD has invested a total of US$16.7 million in three programmes and projects in Guinea-Bissau, which have generated a total investment of US$27.1 million, benefiting about 224,450 rural people.
-0- PANA AR/VAO 10June2015

10 june 2015 14:49:12

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