The African Development Bank (AfDB) has approved a US $76.7-million loan to finance phase two of the Uganda Farm Income Enhancement and Forestry Conservation Programme (FIEFOC-2).
The programme, which was commended by the AfDB Board on Wednesday, January 20 for its good design and high-impact development objectives, comprises agriculture infrastructure and agribusiness development activities as well as an integrated natural resources management scheme aimed to consolidate and expand key achievements of its predecessor (phase one), which was completed in December 2012.
Designed within the context of Uganda's National Development Plan and long-term development strategy - the Vision 2040 - the Project focuses on improving farm incomes, rural livelihoods, food security and climate resilience. It will also support sustainable natural resources management and agricultural enterprise development.
In 2013, about 19.7% of the population, or 6.7 million people, were unable to meet their basic needs, according to a Uganda National Household Survey, which also disclosed that the incidence of poverty was highest among the food-crop growing category in the rural areas due to low income. Thus, the programme seeks to increase production and farmer incomes through improvements and expansion of irrigation schemes, development of agribusiness and adoption of sustainable land, forest, and water management practices and technologies to generate income from natural resources.
The programme will be implemented over a five-year period in five districts - Nebbi, Oyam, Butaleja, Kween, and Kasese - where irrigation schemes are located. The districts have an estimated 1.8 million population, 52% of them women. It will also benefit 300,000 households of which 20% are female-headed outside the irrigation command areas, by introducing or improving soil-conservation measures in the catchments feeding the irrigation schemes.
Furthermore, the project is expected to provide technical skills in conservation and other farming practices that promote environmental management and thereby increasing agricultural productivity in the project areas. It will also assist in the formulation and implementation of measures that reduce deforestation and promote agro-forestry which will lead to emission reduction and the protection of carbon reservoirs as part of the Reduction of Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation (REDD+) agenda. Carbon dioxide (CO2) to be sequestered in 20 years through tree-planting is estimated at 245,000. Training under the project will provide an opportunity for special attention to be given to intensification of climate-smart farming operations.
The project is anchored on the Bank's Country Strategy for Uganda (2011-2016), which focuses on infrastructure development and increased agriculture productivity as well as human capacity improvement and skills development for poverty reduction. It is also in line with the Bank's Ten-Year Strategy (2013-2022) and High 5s, which prioritize agriculture and food security as one of the key areas for the Bank's future assistance.
The total cost of the project is estimated at US $91.43 million. In addition to the US $76.7-million AfDB loan, the Nordic Development Fund (NDF) will provide a US $5.6-million grant while the Government of Uganda will contribute US $9.13 million in counterpart funding.