IFAD provides US$28 million to help boost dairy production and improve herders’ living conditions in Syria

Rome, 18 February 2011 – A new US$73.13 million IFAD-supported project will help reduce poverty mainly in marginal dry areas of the Syrian Arab Republic. The Integrated Livestock Development Project will benefit around 311,000 poor rural households: small sheep, cattle and buffalo holders; small milk producers, collectors and processors living in poverty-stricken seasonal settlements in the Badia and in settled villages across all provinces; as well as poor rural women and youth.

IFAD will provide a loan of US$27.33 million and a grant of US$659,000 to finance the project under an agreement signed today by Kanayo Nwanze, President of IFAD, and Dr. Adel Safar, Minister of Agriculture and Agrarian Reform of the Syrian Arab Republic.

Currently, the high potential of the livestock sector is threatened by external factors such as international market fluctuations, harsher climatic conditions and water availability, low animal productivity, high cost of feed and the underdevelopment of value-added products. 

"The project promises to achieve important gains in animal productivity, volume of production, quality of collection and processing and market outreach," said Abdelhamid Abdouli, IFAD's Country Programme Manager for Syria. This will be achieved through targeted interventions to improve rangeland productivity and development of feed resources. "The project will also provide support for the development of small enterprises along the value chain of livestock produce, with a focus on processing and marketing," he added. "It will promote demand-driven microfinance for income-generating activities.  Such activities are expected to yield a sustainable increase in the incomes of the targeted group of poor rural people."

The participatory approach to be followed by the project will assist the target group in forming community-based associations, such as farmers' marketing associations, herders' associations and village "Sanduq" committees, to provide rural microfinance services, etc. These associations will play a vital role in implementing project activities. They will help establish market linkages and supply chain analysis and provide technical advisory services for joint or individual investment in micro and small enterprises and disseminate market information.

With this project, IFAD will have financed eight projects in the Syria Arab Republic for a total commitment of US$154.2 million.

Press release No.: IFAD/07/2011

The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) works with poor rural people to enable them to grow and sell more food, increase their incomes and determine the direction of their own lives. Since 1978, IFAD has invested over US$12 billion in grants and low-interest loans to developing countries, empowering more than 360 million people to break out of poverty. IFAD is an international financial institution and a specialized UN agency based in Rome – the UN's food and agricultural hub. It is a unique partnership of 165 members from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), other developing countries and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).