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Showing posts with label Access. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Access. Show all posts

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

IFAD wants increased access to finance for smallholder farmers - NaijaAgroNet

Indications have emerged that over 440,000 smallholder farmers in Mali to have better access to rural financial services thanks to a new agreement signed on 6 July by the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and the Republic of Mali, reports NaijaAgroNet.

The new agreement will provide financial support to the Inclusive Finance in Agricultural Value Chain Project (INCLUSIF), which will be implemented in five regions of the country (Koulikoro, Sikasso, Kayes, Ségou and Mopti). By providing a range of financial products, including savings, credit and micro-insurance, the project will enable smallholder farmers to invest in the necessary infrastructure and equipment that will help them produce, store, process and better market their products.

“INCLUSIF’s vision is to promote the sustainable transformation of agricultural value chains by improving financial inclusion for disadvantaged groups, such as women and young people, and their organizations,” said Philippe Rémy, IFAD Country Programme Manager for Mali.

Rémy said INCLUSIF will bring 440,000 smallholders and 360 agricultural professional organizations into the banking system. In addition, over 40,000 producers will have access to financing for climate change adaptation. The project will also develop profitable and sustainable relationships with the private sector and the financial system.

Currently, financial inclusion in Mali’s rural areas stands at 20 per cent. Small and medium-sized enterprises also experience difficulties in accessing finance. In 2016, less than 1 per cent of bank credit went to the agricultural sector.

The total cost of the project is US$105.5 million, including a $22.9 million loan and $22.9 million grant from IFAD. The project will be cofinanced by the Government of Denmark ($21.6 million), rural finance institutions ($15.5 million), the ABC Microfinance (Babyloan) ($0.4 million), the private sector ($5.4 million), the Government of Mali ($4.6 million) and by the beneficiaries themselves ($1.9 million). The financing gap of $10.4 million will be covered from future IFAD financing rounds or by other potential cofinancing partners.

The financial agreement was signed by Gilbert F. Houngbo, President of IFAD, and Boubou Cissé, Minister of Economy and Finance of the Republic of Mali.


Since 1982, IFAD has financed 14 rural development programmes and projects in Mali at a total cost of $630 million, with an IFAD investment of $274.9 million. These programmes and projects have directly benefitted more than 516,000 rural households.

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Tuesday, August 29, 2017

180m lack access to basic water, UNICEF

Over 180 million people do not have access to basic drinking water in countries affected by conflict, violence and instability across the world, UNICEF warned today, as World Water Week gets under way.

“Children’s access to safe water and sanitation, especially in conflicts and emergencies, is a right, not a privilege” said Sanjay Wijesekera, UNICEF’s global chief of water, sanitation and hygiene. ”In countries beset by violence, displacement, conflict and instability, children’s most basic means of survival – water – must be a priority.”

People living in fragile situations are four times more likely to lack basic drinking water than populations in non-fragile situations, according to a recent UNICEF and World Health Organisation analysis. Of the estimated 484 million people living in fragile situations in 2015, 183 million lacked basic drinking water services.

In Yemen, a country reeling from the impact of over two years of conflict, water supply networks that serve the country’s largest cities are at imminent risk of collapse due to war-inflicted damage and disrepair. Around 15 million people in the country have been cut off from regular access to water and sanitation.

In Syria, where the conflict is well into its seventh year, around 15 million people are in need of safe water, including an estimated 6.4 million children. Water has frequently been used as a weapon of war: In 2016 alone, there were at least 30 deliberate water cuts – including in Aleppo, Damascus, Hama, Raqqa and Dara, with pumps destroyed and water sources contaminated.

In conflict-affected areas in northeast Nigeria, 75 per cent of water and sanitation infrastructure has been damaged or destroyed, leaving 3.6 million people without even basic water services.

In South Sudan, where fighting has raged for over three years, almost half the water points across the country have been damaged or completely destroyed.

“In far too many cases, water and sanitation systems have been attacked, damaged or left in disrepair to the point of collapse. When children have no safe water to drink, and when health systems are left in ruins, malnutrition and potentially fatal diseases like cholera will inevitably follow,” said Wijesekera.

In Yemen, for example, children make up more than 53 per cent of the over half a million cases of suspected cholera and acute watery diarrhoea reported so far.  Somalia is suffering from the largest outbreak of cholera in the last five years, with nearly 77,000 cases of suspected cholera/acute watery diarrhoea. And in South Sudan, the cholera outbreak is the most severe the country has ever experienced, with more than 19,000 cases since June 2016.


In famine-threatened north-east Nigeria, Somalia, South Sudan and Yemen, nearly 30 million people, including 14.6 million children, are in urgent need of safe water. More than 5 million children are estimated to be malnourished this year, with 1.4 million severely so.

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Saturday, April 22, 2017

Over 1.2bn Africans lack access to basic sanitation

Over 1.2 billion Africans are surviving without basic sanitation and 395 million people are without clean water, reports NaijaAgroNet.

This is coming as over 130 million Nigerians have been identified as not having access to adequate sanitation out of the total in Africa.

WaterAid made this disclosure as part of the commemoration of the 2017 World Earth Day which theme centred on “Environmental and Climate Literacy” saying the collaborative monitoring platform set up by WaterAid, showed that 57 million people in Nigeria don't have access to safe water.

Also, WaterAid revealed that the over 130 million people living without access to adequate sanitation accounts for the two third of the population and around 45,000 children under five years old die every year from diarrhea caused by unsafe water and poor sanitation.


NaijaAgroNet further gathered that with Africa’s population projected to be 2.2 billion by 2030, only 32 per cent of Sub-Saharan Africans will have access to sanitation by 2030.

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Thursday, February 16, 2017

Bolivia gets support to access climate funding

The South American country of Bolivia, has received support to access the United Nations (UN) Green Climate Fund, requesting $250 million for efforts to reduce the impacts of climate change on food security and rural livelihoods in the country reports NaijaAgroNet.

This, NaijaAgroNet gathered formed top agenda of a meeting Thursday, between the Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO) led by Director General José Graziano da Silva and President Evo Morales, which is projected to assist Bolivia in accessing financial support for improved water management programmes in those areas of the Andean nation that have been hardest hit by prolonged drought.

Both agreed to jointly submit a technical proposal to the UN’s Green Climate Fund to the tune of $250 million in support for efforts to reduce the impacts of climate change on food security and rural livelihoods in Bolivia.

“This effort represents a clear example of how countries can access the Green Fund and will serve as a model for other nations in similar situations looking to access resources,” said FAO’s Director-General.

Strengthening water security is fundamental to boosting the resilience of small farmers, he said, adding that it would be important to establish institutional mechanisms for overseeing and evaluating how the funding is used.


“People are extremely worried as a result of the drought and lack of rain, so working with FAO we’re examining how the Green Fund can help us address this problem. Guaranteeing water for drinking and irrigation for our indigenous family farmers is equivalent to liberating our communities from poverty,” said President Morales.

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Monday, January 23, 2017

EU signs N22.086trn grant with Zambia, improves access to energy

The European Union (EU) has signed up the sum of €65 million, about N22,086,252,500.00, grant with Zambia to improve access to energy, reports NaijaAgroNet.

This programme, NaijaAgroNet gathered would provide access to reliable, clean and affordable electricity services to at least 63,000 households, or about 300,000 people, to social and public infrastructure and to eligible Micro Small Enterprises (MSEs), which will be done through the rehabilitation and expansion of the low voltage distribution network in selected low income areas of Lusaka City with high population density.

The financing agreement for a grant of €65 million was signed today in Brussels by Commissioner for International Development and Cooperation Neven Mimica and the Minister of Finance of the Republic of Zambia Felix Mutati. This took place in the framework of a meeting where Commissioner Mimica and Minister Mutati exchanged views on the very good bilateral relations between the European Union and Zambia.

Speaking on this occasion, Commissioner Neven Mimica said: "This €65 million programme demonstrates the continued commitment of the European Union in collaboration with European Financial Institutions (EFIs) to provide the much needed capital investment for basic infrastructure development, in order to improve the livelihood and social status of poor communities in Zambia. 

"The rehabilitation of the low voltage distribution network and the new connections will allow for the provision of reliable and affordable energy services and economic empowerment. The programme will support the implementation of the European External Investment Plan which prioritises socio-economic development through infrastructure and energy in particular."

The project is co-financed with the European Investment Bank (EIB), which provides additional loans amounting to €15 Million. It is also part of a larger Lusaka Transmission and Distribution Rehabilitation plan, co-financed by the European Investment Bank, the World Bank and ZESCO Limited.

Currently Lusaka faces challenges, because its electricity network infrastructure results in significant energy losses. This is coupled with an increasing population in high density low-income areas, which is unable to access electricity services due to high connection costs. 

Lack of access to electricity services seriously deprives the affected population, in terms of quality of life and exposure to various hazards that go with it (in-door pollution, unsafe cooking, poor social services, low self-esteem etc..), worsening the social inequality gap between the low density and high density urban areas.


In addition to the rehabilitation and expansion of the low voltage distribution network, the programme includes a connection-fee subsidy scheme to encourage new household connections as well as measures to promote productive uses of electricity by women and Micro and Small Enterprises. These will include facilitated access to micro credit lines and training in business management and entrepreneurship.

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Friday, March 20, 2015

2.5m Nigerians now have access to safe water in rural areas



Estimated 2.3 billion Nigerians now have access to enhanced drinking water since 1990, according to the United Nation’s Children Fund (UNICEF) reports NaijaAgroNet

Also UNICEF said is coming as a result of the Millennium Development Goal (MGD) target of halving the percentage of the global population without access which is met in 2010. 

In the case of sanitation, nearly 2.5 billion people worldwide still do not have adequate toilets and among them, 1 billion defecate in the open. While some 70 million people without access to safe water and over 110 million people without access to improved sanitation, Nigeria is currently not on-track with regard to its attainment of Water and Sanitation targets. 

The poor bear the greatest brunt of this lack of access to water and sanitation. For women and girls, collecting water cuts into time they can spend caring for families and studying. In insecure areas, it also puts them at risk of violence and attack. UNICEF estimates that in Africa alone, people spend 40 billion hours every year just walking to collect water.  For children, lack of access to safe water can be tragic. On average, nearly 1,000 of them die globally every day from diarrhoeal diseases linked to unsafe drinking water, poor sanitation, or poor hygiene. 

This year’s theme on World Water Day, which falls on 22nd March, is “Water and Sustainable Development”. The theme aptly encapsulates the overarching role of water in our lives, be it for human consumption, food production, for health, for power generation, for industry and for the sustenance of nature as a whole, without which life would not exist.

This year’s theme highlights the importance of water to our existence and emphasizes the need to look at the holistic development of the water sector, reduce water wastage and prevent contamination of this increasingly scarce resources. “Everyone, be it the government, the civil society, international development partners and the citizens including children have a critical role to play in ensuring that water is sustainably used and is available for generations to come” said Kannan Nadar, Chief, Water and Sanitation, UNICEF.

UNICEF has been working with the Federal Ministry of Water Resources as well as the state governments to promote use of sustainable approaches and technologies for water abstraction and use. In the last two years nearly 2.5 million people gained access to safe water in rural areas through UNICEF support that also included funding from EU and UKAid. UNICEF-supported ‘WASH in Schools’ programming has also brought safe water, sanitation and hygiene facilities to thousands of school children in Nigeria.

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Sunday, December 29, 2013

West Africa food security: Small-scale farmers must have access to markets


A new study by the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) and the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) made available to NaijaAgroNet shows that for West Africa to surmount its food security challenges, small-scale farmers must have greater access to markets.

NaijaAgroNet gathered that the study, entitled Rebuilding West Africa’s Food Potential, presented a range of successful case studies since the region stepped up investments in agricultural development in the wake of the world food crisis in 2007-2008. 

The study revealed to NaijaAgroNet that countries could benefit significantly from policy support that targets broader agricultural development and greater coordination among producers, private industry and the public and financial sectors.
 

FAO Senior Economist, Aziz Elbehri, who edited the publication told NaijaAgroNet that although some West African countries are doing better than others, the region has lagged behind other parts of Africa in terms of basic infrastructure, investments, research and development and agricultural processing.

The book reasons, Elbehri said that the region should direct greater efforts to develop its staple food crops, which in the past have been sidelined in favour of a few export commodities. 

NaijaAgroNet  noted that Maize and cassava, which are two of the main pillars of West Africa’s food security, could form the backbone for a thriving agro-industry given their multiple market applications, the publication suggests.
 

“There is a huge production deficit in rice in the region, which currently imports an unsustainable 70 per cent of what it consumes,” FAO said, stressing that yields of sorghum and millet which are critically important for the food security of 100 million people in the Sahel, could double or triple with the help of improved seed varieties and fertilizer. Pointing out that providing farmers’ with the means to boost the yields of staple food crops is not enough.


“Farmers have little incentive to increase production if they can’t sell their crops because of cheaper and easily accessible imports. Policy and market incentives are needed to improve the competitiveness of locally grown crops and increase their share in the consumer market,” Elbehri said. 

NaijaAgroNet recalls that the study also underscored the importance of continued investment in export crops such as cotton, coffee and cocoa, which play a significant role in generating income and employment, and flags tropical fruit and vegetables and other emerging niche products like sesame and cashew nuts as another viable area for export growth.
 



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Monday, June 18, 2012

Nigeria: Expert attributes food price hike to Boko Haram insurgence


Market women selling farm produce
The Technical Adviser to the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr. Akinwunmi Adesina, Dr. Tony Egba said the activities of the Boko Haram sect in Nigeria are responsible for the rise in food price in the northern part of the country.
NaijaAgroNet gathered that Dr. Egba said, fears arising from the activities of the sect have resulted in transporters avoiding some areas in the north.
He also said that Nigerians’ involvement in subsistence farming was also responsible for the low food productivity and that the minister planned to change this.
The change, he said would come through the encouragement of mecahnised farming to boost food production.
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