The federal government revealed on Wednesday that it had secured a $600 million loan from the World Bank to address land degradation in 19 northern states and the Federal Capital Territory, FCT.
This was announced by the National Project Coordinator, Federal Government, Nigeria Erosion and Watershed Management Project, NEWMAP, Salisu Dahiru, who was represented by Water Resources Specialist, Ayuba Anda Yalaks, during a consultative workshop organized by HarvestPlus and ICRISAT on climate resilience and nutrition. .
According to Dahiru, the fund is for the implementation of the Agro-Climate Resilience in Semi-Arid Landscapes project, ACReSAL, aimed at scaling up the implementation of sustainable landscape management practices in the region of north, as well as to strengthen and foster the environment for an integrated climate. – resilient landscape management.
The project aims to address the challenges of environmental degradation including deforestation, erosion, water management and food production in the region.
He said: “The Federal Government has secured a $600 million credit facility from the World Bank’s International Development Association (IDA) to address land degradation challenges in the 19 northern states of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory.
“The fund is intended for the implementation of the Agro-Climate Resilience in Semi-Arid Landscapes (ACReSAL) project aimed at increasing the implementation of sustainable landscape management practices in the northern region, as well as strengthen and enable the environment for integrated climate-resilient landscape management.
He also explained that the project will be implemented within six years, which will address the nutritional challenges in the content of major crops occasioned by climate change affecting the productivity of farmers, hence the high import of food to meet demand.
However, explaining why the project is not implemented in the southern part of Nigeria, he (Dahiru) said that the NEWAP project is tackling land degradation in the south-east, south-south and south-west, but following the challenges in terms of agriculture, water resource management, food production in the north, it was seen fit to focus on the region.
“For this project, we consider the aridity index, the dry part of the country, because the challenges in terms of agriculture, water resources management, food production are enormous, that’s why the project is targeted on the north,” he added.
Meanwhile, HarvestPlus and the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics, ICRISAT, hosted a day of consultative engagement with ACReSAL state-level stakeholders, which involves sharing information and lessons learned from States and to help develop a more integrated and multi-sectoral approach to implement more resilient and sustainable agricultural productivity projects.
National Director, HarvestPlus, Yusuf Dollah, in his remarks, said both ICRISAT and HarvestPlus are technical advisors for the project.
Dollah further stated that the project is a climate activity of the Federal Ministry of Environment and the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.
He pointed out that HarvestPlus has been deeply involved in promoting climate-tolerant and pest-resistant crops.
“Our main goal is to breed and promote nutrient-dense crops that we can use to solve our nutrition and livelihood challenges,” he said.