Farmers to benefit from Sh1.6b fund
International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) has announced funding for small-scale farmers across the globe with Sh1.6 billion fund.
Funding, known as the Rural Poor Stimulus Facility is a result of a new partnership between IFAD and Precision Agriculture for Development, a non-profit organisation.
Initiative seeks to uplift millions of smallholder farmers as the effects of the Covid-19 global pandemic ripple through the sector.
Farmers will also receive personalised agricultural advice through their phones to improve their incomes, food security and resilience.
Small-scale growers will receive low-cost, customised advice using mobile technology, to improve on-farm practices, input utilisation, pest and disease management, environmental sustainability and access to markets.
Corona has adversely affected small-scale farmers in various ways, through lost markets due to lockdowns, curtailed supply chains as well as inaccessibility of farm inputs. IFAD is contributing $11.2 million (Sh1.18 billion) to the initiatives.
In addition, governments and implementing partners will contribute $5.2 million (Sh546 million) through co-financing to benefit close to 6.7 million small-scale farmers in developing countries, adversely impacted by the economic slowdown.
Livelihood support initiatives include providing seeds and fertiliser, storage and market transport, supporting local banks to provide credit, and establishing digital platforms for information, training, banking and marketing services.
Initiatives will draw on existing targeting data to identify and provide assistance to the most at-risk groups.