Guinea-Bissau’s proposed Rice Value Chain Development Project to be implemented in the Bafata and Oio regions of the country has received the African Development Bank Group’s support with a loan and a grant amounting to US $5.67 million approved by its Board on January 23, 2017 in Abidjan. The funding will be sourced from the African Development Fund (ADF), the concessional arm of the Group.
The Rice Value Chain Development Project (PDCV-Riz) is designed to ensure sustainable recovery of the rice value chain in the Bafata and Oio regions by improving productivity, strengthening infrastructure, ensuring resilience to climate change, managing natural agricultural resources in a sustainable manner and reducing gender inequality. The project is expected to help improve nutritional and food security and reduce poverty across the country, which has an annual deficit of more than 80,000 tonnes of rice, the country’s staple food.
Designed to be implemented in four years, the project involves modernization and development of agricultural infrastructure and aims to ensure the sustainable recovery of the rice value chain in the Bafata and Oio regions with special emphasis on hydro-agricultural infrastructure and access to markets; food and nutrition security; value chain development; employment of young people and women; and adaptation to the impacts of climate change.
Located in two of Guinea-Bissau’s nine regions, namely Bafata and Oio, which occupy 31.5% of the national territory and in 2015 had a population estimated at 494,000 (27% of the national population), the area is rich in water and land resources, owing in particular to the Corubal, Geba and Mansôa river basins.
In addition to basic structuring infrastructure resulting from the development of 470 hectares of lowlands, 7 km of roads, two rural markets, five processed food stores and shops, etc.; innovative techniques needed for quality assurance, conservation and processing of food products will also be developed and disseminated.
“These activities will be accompanied by local and organizational capacity building, and specific focus will be placed on women’s access to land and all project benefits,” the AfDB says.
In keeping with the country’s strategic orientations, the project will help to improve productivity and production in the flagship sector for food security. The project will also develop market gardening, the current production of which covers only 60% of needs, for certain sites and school canteens. This activity will help to improve the nutritional status of the beneficiaries, particularly women and children. The project will serve as a catalyst for agricultural development in the area by facilitating water control, strengthening agricultural infrastructure, promoting sustainable production, packaging and processing technologies, and facilitating access to markets by supporting the development of the strategic sectors of rice and market gardening.
About 1,720 farmers, 55% of whom are women, will directly benefit from the project, which will also have an indirect impact on approximately 60,000 people.
The project is estimated at US $6.13 million (about CFAF 3.8 billion). The ADF loan and grant represent 93% of the total cost. The government and beneficiaries are expected to provide the remaining seven percent.