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THREE BILLION DOLLARS FOR SMALL-HOLDER AGRICULTURAL PRODUCERS

Monday, 22nd February 2016
Kanayo Nwanze, President of IFAD, has called for the total sum of three billion dollars for his agency's work over a three-year period, starting 1st January 2016 to 31st December 2018. Known as "The Tenth Replenishment", this sum will go into IFAD loans and grants to small-holder farmers in developing countries, as well as for its administrative and capital development budgets. 

The call for funding was made at IFAD headquarters in Rome, on February 17th , during Nwanze's address to Ministers of Finance and Agriculture who comprise the Governing Council of IFAD. Highlighting the effectiveness of his agency, President Nwanze pointed out that thanks to IFAD, 139 million people had been reached by projects between 2010 and 2015.

In Uganda IFAD has an Oil Palm Project, which has seen Kalangala District transformed from a set of impoverished fishing villages, to an increasingly well-off community due to the income the farmers are reaping from selling their nuts. Beyond  Kalangala, Uganda  as a whole is benefitting from the production of "Fortune Cooking Oil" which, while creating jobs for the youth, has increased choices of cooking oils for housewives as it hit  supermarket shelves all over the country. The Oil Project is being rolled out to many parts of northern and eastern Uganda, bringing on board more oil producing vegetables such groundnuts and simsim.

At the Governing Council, the IFAD top leader also updated the conference on its on-going decentralization drive meant to bring the work of the agency closer to the people it serves. Uganda is one of the direct beneficiaries of this exercise. An IFAD country office was opened in Uganda with a resident country representative in 2014.

Situating IFAD within the current development agenda, Nwanze emphasized that achieving sustainable development goals (SDGs), which are at the heart of Agenda 2030, depends on working with small-holder farmers and transforming rural areas in developing countries. He commended the input of UN Rome-Based Agencies (RBAs) into the design of Agenda 2030 which efforts were fully supported by member countries. Equally the RBAs made significant input into the Climate Change Conference, populary known as COP21, highlighting the vulnerability of agriculture to climate change.

Uganda strongly supports the work of IFAD. By December 2015, within her means, she had pledged US$100,000 as her contribution to the Tenth Replenishment.

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