Following an agreement to support 4 projects on climate resilience and COVID recovery in the Pacific, East Caribbean, and West Africa regions, the climate smart agriculture project in the Senegal River Valley was officially launched. “We’ll introduce climate smart agriculture practices that enhance productivity and resilience for rice farming,” shared GGGI Representative Romain BRILLIE, during the opening remarks at the launch ceremony. “The objective is to contribute to the reduction of poverty, GHG emissions, and also to improve rice farmers living conditions, especially women and youth.”
The ceremony was chaired by the Secretary General of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Equipment and attended by presidium officials composed of General Directors of National Society of Infrastructures & Land Develoment in the River Valley- SAED, La Banque Agricole, and the Executive Director and Investments Officer of FONSIS Sovereign Fund for Strategic Investment
During the pilot stage, the project will offer different support for rice farmers operating in the area. 16 pumping stations will be connected to the grid to provide 1 MW to 1.5 MW of solar energy every year and enable 1800 ha irrigated perimeters used by 5833 rice farmers in River Valley. With the project, a scaling up mechanism should be developed in order to integrate solar energy into irrigated rice production in the region. The mechanism will take place based on feasibility studies that should support a concept note for 1.5 to 40 millions USD to be mobilized from climate financing in the partnership of FONSIS for the investment into solar projects.
One of the objectives in this project in response to the COVID context is to develop a “CASH FOR WORK” program that will create 460 direct jobs in the region. It would offer better resilience for most affected farmers by expanding the labor force and providing financing support for irrigated infrastructure & equipment maintenance.
“Mobilizing finance for the scaling up of climate smart agriculture wouldn’t be difficult with our partner La Banque Agricole. The pilot stage should document climate, jobs, and financial benefits. Expected outcomes would strengthen climate resilience with an increase of 50% agricultural yield in the pilot sites, 10% of 5833 producers incomes, reduce at least 27 080t CO2 GHG emissions in rice farming over 20 years, to create almost 20,166 direct/indirect jobs of which 460 in short term.
Ceremony chairperson noted that ” This project will address a public concern. The objective remains to satisfy national needs in a steady progress with the international market. Indeed with the rice apparent consumption per capita, which varies between 60-70kgs/capita/annum including 20-30% covered by national production, Senegal is one of the main rice importers in the West Africa Region. National consumption is estimated at 600 000 t of white rice/annum. The irrigated rice is performed in the River Valley where 60,000ha of harvested areas of a possible 240,000ha.”