IFAD earmarks $45M for Africa's rural climate adaptation.

In Summary
  • The project will reach to over 18 million small holder famers
  • The project will be implemted in four countries in East africa region
  • Most of land in Uganda have lost nutrients
The Africa Rural climate adaptation finance mechanism project is an initiative introduced by International Fund for Agricultural Development-IFAD
Image: UCA

Uganda Cooperative alliance-UCA, Equity Bank Uganda, and Uganda Central Cooperative Financial services-UCCFS have on 19th June 2024 signed a trilateral partnership.

A 12-year partnership aims to scale up the Africa Rural Climate Adaptation Finance Mechanism (ARCAFIM) project across the country.

The Africa Rural Climate Adaptation Finance Mechanism project is an initiative introduced by the International Fund for Agricultural Development-IFAD, focusing on how based cooperatives can support smallholder farmers to adapt to climate change.’’ Our being here today at Sheraton was to sign an MOU with an equity bank which will directly receive funds worth USD 45 million from the International Fund for Agricultural Development and majority of over 18 million cooperators around the country are smallholder farmers which is why we are here and I want to appreciate International Fund for Agricultural Development for this innovation’’. Said CPA Ivan Asiimwe, the General Secretary of the Uganda Cooperative Alliance.

How it will work;  ‘’We shall build the capacities of these smallholder farmers for them to realize that there are effects of climate change that is training, secondly, we shall mobilize them to take advantage of available financing which money has been provided by IFAD through equity bank. It has been a challenge; you go out and talk to people on climate change mitigation and adaptation but the challenge has been how do we do it. If we are to do it, we don’t have money, that has been the biggest challenge. Most of the land is no longer fertile, there is too much sunshine, and the floods are destroying our crops and animals, how do we adapt to this change? The most important thing is for the people to have information which is going to be done through capacity building and also access financing’’.  CPA Asiimwe said.

According to him, getting high-quality production and productivity, especially among the smallholder farmers who practice cattle keeping instead of just grazing cows for purposes of prestige are some of the areas the project will be looking at.’’ We shall also look at policy, and what is it that we can do as cooperators in the country, if we mobilize ourselves through the Uganda cooperative alliance then we can influence policies. For example, how can we influence a national policy on climate change, how can we influence a policy at the local government level regarding climate change? Another thing we going to do is around resolving conflicts that are related to climate change. So, there is a lot that we going to do and I want to thank the government of Uganda for the positivity and the support of this program’’. He added.

Commenting on the MOU shortly after the signing, Lilliane Byarugaba, sector head of agriculture at the equity bank noted that the total amount for the ARCAFIM project is USD 200 Million, USD 180 million is for the lending and USD20M is for the technical advisory assistance. ‘’ this is going to be implemented the east African region in Rwanda, Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda. Part of this money, USD 45m is coming to Uganda and we also have an anticipated amount of USD 10 M from the Royal Danish Embassy of Uganda for technical advisory assistance’’. She stated.

‘’The interest rates are going to be affordable and they are tied depending on how much is borrowed, so it varies depending and will be much lower than 12% Per annum.

Hon. Frederick Ngobi Gume, State Minister for Cooperatives in the country graced the MOU ceremony. ‘’My advice to IFAD is that if you have to reach the lowest person in any Community, you have to use the cooperatives model. These are small-scale entrepreneurs down on the ground and these are the people to benefit from the program and they can adapt by for example growing resistant crops’’ he added.