UN Agency To Invest In Climate Change Adaptation For Smallholder Farmers In Nepal
The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and the government of Nepal are financing a US$37.7 million project to help 100,000 rural households and communities in up to six districts in the hilly and remote areas of the mid-western region better contend with climate change risks.
Financing for the Adaptation for Smallholders in Hilly Areas Project (ASHA) in Nepal will include two IFAD grants, one for $10 million and another for $15 million from the Adaptation for Smallholder Agriculture Programme (ASAP), an IFAD-initiated global grant fund dedicated to building the resilience of poor smallholder farmers against the negative effects of climate change.
The grant agreement was signed today at IFAD headquarters in Rome by Kanayo F. Nwanze, President of IFAD, and Madhu Kumar Marasini, Joint Secretary, International Economic Cooperation Coordination Division, Ministry of Finance, Nepal.
Agriculture employs 80 per cent of the active population in Nepal but only accounts for one third of the GDP, a reflection of the many challenges facing the country’s four million smallholder farmers.
Over six years, ASHA will address climate variability and its affects on food and nutrition security while building on previous IFAD work, which contributed to community development, agricultural productivity and environmental protection. The project will be directly supervised by IFAD and will initially focus on six districts in the mid-western region: Jajarkot, Kalikot, Dailekh, Salyan, Rolpa and Rukum.
“The objective is to sustainably strengthen the adaptive capacities of communities and institutions to better contend with climate change,” said Lakshmi Moola, Country Programme Manager, IFAD. “Our goals include moving target beneficiaries down the vulnerability scale, improving household assets and reducing the prevalence of child malnutrition.”
Since 1978, IFAD has invested in projects in Nepal (including ASHA) that have a total cost of nearly $473.5 million of which IFAD contributed $213 million, directly benefitting 700,000 households.