29 June 2012

Guinea Bissau - The AfDB Finances the Rehabilitation of the Agricultural and Rural Sectors

SPONSOR WIRE

Background

The project to rehabilitate the agricultural and rural sectors (PRESAR) was designed in the context of a country emerging from conflict. It aims to achieve food security and fight rural poverty. More specifically, the project aims to improve rice production and market gardening as well as livestock promotion.

The project

ADF assistance is by a grant of UA 5.80 million, corresponding to CFAF 4.4 billion. Despite the relatively difficult socio-political situation in the country, the project was well implemented. PRESAR is an example of an operation implemented following a participatory approach, with particular attention to women who are heavily involved in rice production market garden activities.

Participatory design, labour-intensive works

The involvement of local stakeholders helped to meet the needs expressed at the grassroots and to propose interventions and techniques adapted to field conditions. Partnership with WFP helped to take advantage of its food-for-work programme in boosting project execution that involved labour use intensity. The simplicity of schemes put in place makes maintenance, management, and the ownership by the beneficiaries easier.

Outcomes

Rice farmers have built more than 274 km of dykes and 67 km of canals. Rice production has been boosted to about 10,000 tons per year with the speedy development of over 3,800 ha of low-lands and mangroves. Vegetable production also increased to about 8,100 tons per year. More than 24,000 farmers including 14,000 women have benefited from the rehabilitation of rice land.

The project has provided significant support to farmers in terms of improved seeds (850 tons of rice and 650 tons of vegetable seed), fertilizer (755 tons) and agricultural equipment. The involvement of NGOs and farmer organizations has also enabled the latter to better achieve their goal, extend their scope of action, and ensure greater presence on the ground. In total, over 440 producer groups and associations, 85 per cent women, were provided with organization and training support.

Several Agriculture services also received support such as training and provision of equipment and/or logistics to carry out a number of tasks. PRESAR enabled a census of livestock at the national level, preparation of the Livestock Sector Development Policy Letter and its action plan, design of a bankable project for the livestock sector, revitalization of INPA activities and regional centres in charge of research and development, or revitalization of a regional directorates of agriculture. In terms of infrastructure, PRESAR rehabilitated six national and regional laboratories, 15 agricultural produce warehouses, and nine cereal banks. It also constructed a municipal market and five fruit and vegetable (or community) markets.

Conclusion

The implementation of PRESAR has raised many hopes and expectations for the population, partners and all the stakeholders. The rapid responses provided during the food crisis of 2008-2009 and the tangible results achieved since the start of the project also explain the new requests from village communities. PRESAR will close in September 2012 and discussions are underway to continue and expand these types of interventions, enhance sustainability of initiated activities, ensure capitalization of experiences, and more effectively guide the strategic reflection of the Republic of Guinea- Bissau in the agricultural sector.

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