The government has joined hands with the International Fund for Agricultural Development ( IFAD ) for the implementation of $37.6-million “ Adaptation for Smallholders in Hilly Areas ” (ASHA) programme for a new six-year period (2015-2018).
The project aims at reducing climate change risks and vulnerabilities, and raising the resilience of smallholder farmers, strengthen the framework for local-level climate adaptation, and improve the resilience of vulnerable people.
In a statement, IFAD said the project is estimated to directly benefit at least 100,000 households and 600,000 people. The first three years of the project period will focus on six mid-western districts—Jajarkot, Kalikot, Dailekh, Salyan, Rolpa and Rukum.
These districts were selected in consonance with the vulnerability mapping of the National Adaptation Programme of Action. The target area will be expanded to other districts and regions of the Central and Eastern Nepal after the mid-term review in 3 years from now.
IFAD will provide two grants of $10 million (26.6 percent) from its performance-based allocation system and $15 million grant (39.9 percent) from the ASAP— IFAD ’s financing source dedicated to supporting the adaptation of poor smallholder farmers to climate change. Nepal government will inject $6.6 million (17.6 percent) and beneficiary contribution will be $6 million (15.9 percent) in the project.
Nepal is highly vulnerable to climate change affecting national efforts to reduce poverty, particularly in rural areas where about 80 percent of the population reside.
The rural smallholder farmers who are largely dependent on subsistence farming for their livelihoods are facing increasing challenges in their daily livelihoods, the IFAD said.
The project design, in line with the country strategic opportunities programme was prepared with the government in September 2013 and May 2014. The project is now planned to be submitted to the IFAD executive board session in Sept 2014 and is scheduled to begin in early 2015.
IFAD has been working in Nepal for more than 35 years. Since starting operations in 1978, 14 projects have been financed from IFAD loans and six are on-going. IFAD ’s strategy in Nepal—based on its Country Programme Strategic Opportunities Programme for 2013-2018.
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