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Thursday, February 13, 2020

Sao Tome & Principe partners IFAD to improve nutrition - NaijaAgroNet

The International Fund for Agricultural Development of the United Nations (IFAD) is supporting a new project to increase incomes, improve food and nutrition security and build the resilience of at least 34,800 rural farmers of Sao Tome and Principe, an island country highly affected by climate change, reports NaijaAgroNet.

Rising sea levels and climate disturbances put the poor rural people of the country at risk, impacting its agriculture and fisheries.

Micronutrient deficiency rates in Sao Tome and Principe are also alarming, with 96 per cent of preschool children and 18 per cent of girls and pregnant women suffering from vitamin A deficiencies. The malnutrition rate for children under five is more than 17 per cent.

To address these issues, the financing agreement for the Commercialization, Agricultural Production Nutrition Project (COMPRAN) was signed today by Donal Brown, Associate Vice-President of IFAD, Programme Management Department and Osvaldo Tavares dos Santos Vaz, Minister of Finance of the Democratic Republic of Sao Tome and Principe.

With 69 per cent of the young people in Sao Tome and Principe unemployed, this €19.2 million programme will target young people, aiming for at least 50 per cent. It will contribute to livelihood development, improved nutrition and resilience, all of which are critical areas for the country to achieve food security, as well as meeting several Sustainable Development Goals, including no poverty, zero hunger, gender equality and climate action (SDGs 1, 2, 5 and 13).

Funding includes an €0.9 million loan and €3.8 million grant from IFAD. In addition, the Government of Sao Tome and Principe is providing €0.4 million, with a further €0.5 million contributed by beneficiaries themselves and significant cofinancing from other development partners.

“COMPRAN is an innovative project that will also strengthen capacities of key rural public and private institutions in the country to catalyse and well manage investments and strengthen public-private and producer partnerships, at both central and decentralized levels. This will ensure the continuity and the sustainability of the gains of the former Smallholder Commercial Agriculture Project that registered huge achievements and impact on the livelihoods of rural populations through increased incomes,” said Emime Ndihokubwayo, Country Director for Sao Tome and Principe.

Isaac Oyimah/Editor

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