Guinea-Bissau – The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) has partnered with the government of Guinea-Bissau to support the Agricultural Diversification, Integrated Markets, Nutrition and Climate Resilience Project (REDE) with an investment of US$65.7 million.

The project is aimed to increase productivity and incomes, improve food security and nutrition and build the resilience of at least 287,000 small-scale farmers in the face of climate change.

Its funding includes an US$11.8 million loan and US$4.3 million grant from IFAD through its Special Programme for Countries with Fragile Situations.

In addition, the Government of Guinea-Bissau is providing US$7.6 million, with a further US$4.9 million contributed by beneficiaries themselves and significant cofinancing from other development partners.

The agreement was signed Gilbert F. Houngbo, President of IFAD, and Geraldo João Martins, Minister of Finance of the Republic of Guinea-Bissau.

“IFAD is committed to work with the Government of Guinea-Bissau for inclusive rural transformation of the country where the persons with disabilities and returned migrants are not problems for their communities but are part of the solution,” said Gianluca Capaldo, IFAD Country Director for Guinea-Bissau.

REDE will be implemented in four regions – Bafatà, Cacheu, Gabú and Oio and will develop 14,000 ha of watersheds and 3,500 ha of lowland for cultivation.

In addition, 175 kilometres of roads, 3 existing semi-wholesale markets, 5 weekly markets and 2 collection centres will be rehabilitated.

It targets women and young people, including persons with disabilities, and migrants who have returned to the country.

The project will further promote crop diversification to reduce the country’s dependence on a single crop production – rice or cashew.

As the project areas have an arid Sahelian climate, climate change mitigation and adaption measures will be introduced, particularly by reducing brush fires and forest clearing, better lowland water management, by increasing organic content of cultivated soils and protecting and generating forests on plateau land.

The project will promote the economic inclusion of small-scale farmers in adding value to agricultural production through processing.

Rural infrastructure will be put in place to support market-oriented production, and to enable efficient delivery of surplus production from small farms to markets, allowing farmers to sell more in national and sub-regional markets and improve their livelihoods.

REDE will build the capacity of small-scale farmers – not only in production, but also in storing and processing perishable products. It will promote literacy activities for women and vocational training for young people.

Since 1983, IFAD has invested more than US$45.3 million in five rural development programmes and projects in Guinea-Bissau worth a total of almost US$115.4 million. These interventions have directly benefited almost 182,000 rural families.