World Bank approves funds for East small-holder farmers

FARMERS in a maize field.

THE World Bank has approved over US$30 million that will benefit about 215,000 smallholder farmers in Eastern Province through the adoption of climate-smart technologies.

The bank’s board approved a total of US$32.80 million to improve rural livelihoods, reduce deforestation and unsustainable agricultural practices in the Eastern Province.
In a statement issued yesterday, the Zambia Integrated Forest Landscape project funds includes US$17 million International Development Association (IDA) credit, a Global Environment Facility (GEF) grant of US$8.05 million, and a BioCarbon Fund (BioCF) grant of US$7.75 million.
The project will also improve landscape management, increase environmental and economic benefits for targeted rural communities in the province.  
“At least 30 percent will be female. The key beneficiaries are people in rural communities located in the nine districts, Chipata, Lundazi, Mambwe, Petauke, Katete, Sinda, Chidazi, Vubwi, Nyimba of the Eastern Province,” the statement reads.
The project will also strengthen activities that will emphasise multi-sector co-ordination and transition to low carbon development.  
Commenting on the development, World Bank country manager for Zambia Ina Ruthenberg said, “The project will create an enabling environment for Zambia to benefit from future emissions reduction payments, through a BioCarbon Fund.”
Climate Smart Agriculture for Africa region co-ordinator Ademola Braimoh said majority of people in Eastern Province live in rural areas with their livelihoods dependent on agriculture and natural resources, which has led to unsustainable farming practices.
“The project specifically, targets adoption of climate-smart technologies by smallholders, increasing the productivity and climate benefits they receive from these technologies,” Dr Braimoh said.


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