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IFAD invests $110m in Niger agriculture

The funding will be used to boost family farms' agricultural production and allow them to diversify in the Maradi, Tahoua and Zinder regions.

The Republic of Niger and the United Nations International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) have signed an agreement to finance the Family Farming Development Programme (FFDP) in the Maradi, Tahoua and Zinder Regions.

The funding from IFAD includes a $24.25 million loan, a $24.25 million grant and an additional $13 million grant from IFAD’s Adaptation for Smallholder Agriculture Programme (ASAP). An additional $48.5 million will be granted as the programme progresses, according to a statement.

The total cost of the FFDP is about $207.2 million, less the $110 million from IFAD. The Niger government is contributing $33.4 million, OPEC’s Fund for International Development is contributing a $6 million loan and the Italian Co-operation a $28.2 million loan. The remaining funding comes from an $8 million grant from the Global Environment Facility, ongoing IFAD projects in the country to the value of $10.5 million and a contribution of $11.1 million from beneficiaries.

The new programme aims to boost family agricultural production in the central Maradi, Tahoua and Zinder regions. The funding will help smallholder family farmer increase and diversify agricultural production “by scaling up production techniques and small-scale irrigation systems,” the statement said.

Launched by IFAD more than a year ago, ASAP finances mixed crop and livestock systems, crop rotation system and a combination of agroforestry systems and communal ponds, according to its website. In Niger, the programme invests in rural infrastructures such as rural roads, collection centres and market logistics.

“In Niger, family farming remains the main source of agricultural production and is essential, not only for national food and nutrition security, but as a source of revenues for most of the population of the country,” Vincenzo Galastro, IFAD Country Programme Manager for Niger, said in a statement.

IFAD has been investing in Niger since 1980. To date, a total of $206.9 million was invested in 12 programmes generating a total investment of $515.5 million, which benefited a bit over one million households.