Food Security Project in the Northern Guéra Region - Phase II
Food Security Project in the Northern Guéra Region Phase II
The first IFAD intervention in the Guéra area was closed in 2001. This second phase of the project builds on the achievements of phase I. The project zone covers an area of 295,000 km2 and comprises the districts of Bitkine, Mongo and Mangalmé in the mountainous region of Guéra. Water sources are scarce in the area and erosion is particularly evident in the foothills and in the most populated areas. Many remote villages are cut off from the main road network during the rainy season. The area is used by settled farmers, agropastoralists and itinerant herders. Soil erosion is a problem in the area. The main crops include staple food crops such as millet and sorghum, in addition to groundnuts, cowpeas and sesame. Livestock are an important source of livelihood in the area. As a result of military conflicts and emigration in the 1980s, the number of households headed by women is as high as 37 per cent.
The entire population of the target area experiences acute food shortages. Most settled households farm from one to six ha of land, growing millet and sorghum, the staple food crops, and raising livestock. Yields are low as a result of pest incidence and unreliable rainfall. Inadequate animal health controls severely compromise livestock production. In the Guéra region, 35 per cent of children and about 18 per cent of mothers of young children suffer from chronic malnutrition.
The project builds on the achievements of the first phase, consolidating them and replicating them in other villages. Its objective is to improve living conditions and food security for the poorest rural people and those most vulnerable to food insecurity. It encourages women to take part in decision-making and the allocation of project resources.
The project’s objective is to help improve the well-being, food security and nutritional status of the households most vulnerable to food insecurity in the northern Guéra region. Specific goals are to:
- improve sustainable agricultural production by introducing crop varieties for better yields and new farming systems adapted to drought conditions
- improve cereal storage at village level
- strengthen grass-roots institutions and empower local women's groups to take charge of development activities
- improve health care and sanitation
The project is also piloting the sustainable production of gum Arabic, and helping increase the bargaining capacities of local producers', so that they can market the raw material more profitably and reduce the risk of farm gate price fluctuations.
The Belgian Survival Fund grant specifically supports activities addressing women's health and nutritional needs. The World Food Programme is collaborating with the project by supplying initial grain deposits for cereal banks.
A recent review of the results achieved so far imply that child malnutrition has significantly diminished since the project started its activities in 2004, when the level of acute child malnutrition averaged 12.5 per cent. A survey is currently being organised to verify the project’s impact.
03 May 2000
2000 - 2009
Total Project Cost
US$ 17.63 million
US$ 11.67 million
Belgian Survival Fund US$ 3.68 million
National Government US$ 1.16 million