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ROOTs, IFAD launch AICRM program

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By Olimatou Coker

The Ministry of Agriculture’s Project Resilience of Organization for Transformative Smallholder Agriculture project (ROOTs) in partnership with IFAD on Wednesday launched the Africa Integrated Climate Risk Management program (AICRM) at the Sir Dawda Kairaba Jawara International Conference Center.

The ROOTS Project is the implementing entity of the AICRM for IFAD in The Gambia.

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The said program aims to address the challenges, risks and vulnerabilities that climate change poses to smallholder farming.

AICRM is a regional initiative aimed at building, strengthening and scaling up the resilience and adaptive capacity of smallholder farmers and rural communities in seven Sahelian less developed countries, Burkina Faso, Mali, Mauritania, Senegal, Chad, Nigeria and the Gambia. The program utilizes an integrated climate risk management approach.

Speaking Demba Sabally, the Minister of Agriculture, highlighted the long standing cooperation between IFAD and The Gambia.

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He also underscored the invaluable benefits of the project. “For more than four decades, IFAD has accompanied The Gambia in its quest to attain our development objective, especially in the agricultural environment and natural resource sectors”.

He said the AICRM program is fully aligned with the Gambia National Development Plan, as well as their commitment on climate mitigation and adaptation, as reflected in the national adaptation plan of action Napa national climate change policy and strategy, national communications NCS and the National Strategy for disaster risk reduction. “We are confident that the AICRM will successfully be implemented to impact positively on the livelihood of our populations”.

Jyotsna Puri, Associate President of IFAD, explained the necessity and expected outcomes of this regional program.

“The program intends to restore more than 70,000 hectares of degraded forest and pasture lands and promote climate smart agriculture on 200,000 hectares of land. Ecosystem based approaches and climate smart agriculture measures will be implemented to increase resilience and improve the livelihoods of vulnerable people in rural areas,” she said.

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