FAO commits $40M to build resilience in Agri-sector

Guyana Chronicle:  

The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (UN/FAO) has committed $40Million for Guyana to undertake baseline studies for developing a full proposal to address Climate Change Adaptation and Resilience Building in the Agriculture Sector.

A Climate Resilience Workshop was hosted on Thursday to kick-start the discussions. Head of Office of Climate Change (OCC), Janelle Christian said the Government is looking to advance actions that were committed under the National Determined Contributions (NDC) to the Paris Agreement. Under the NDC, agriculture was identified as the main medium for adaptation to climate change challenges. “The other focus within our NDC is mitigation for Forest and energy, however this workshop today and continuing tomorrow, will be looking at addressing those particular challenges within the agriculture sector,” Christian explained.

The government, she said, has conducted groundwork in collaboration with the Ministry of Agriculture, related agencies and other sub-sectors to address challenges in the sector. According to the OCC head, “one case in point as it relates to our water resource challenges in Region Nine, is that not only the Ministry of Agriculture, NDIA [National Drainage and Irrigation Authority], but also the Ministry of Natural Resources have been working to address those particular challenges.”

The government, with resources from its multilateral partners, has commenced the improvement of drainage and irrigation infrastructure across the country. Actions are also being undertaken at the community level, working with farming groups to ensure lands are accessible for agricultural purposes. This is being financed under the Caribbean Development Fund (CDF).

There is support too from the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB). While these initiatives have been focusing on particular geographic locations, Christian added that the GCF project, which is being conceptualised, will take a holistic approach. She noted that this “takes into consideration everything else that is happening and really addresses the gaps in the current solutions that Government is advancing.”

The Green Climate Fund (GCF) recently approved some GYD $140Million (US$697, 183) for Guyana’s second Readiness Support for the Agriculture sector. The University of Guyana (UG) Faculty of Earth and Environmental Sciences and the International Centre for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) are tasked with completing the baseline studies. A Concept Note for the Full Proposal to address climate change adaptation and resilience building within the Agriculture sector is the expected outcome.

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