IFAD’s new Adaptation for Smallholder Agriculture Programme (ASAP) goes live

IFAD operationalizes a new programme to help smallholders adapt to climate change

Niger - Project for the Promotion of Local Initiatives for Development in Aguie
©IFAD/David Rose

Rome, 4 October 2012 – The Adaptation for Smallholder Agriculture Programme (ASAP) is a new programme launched by the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) in 2012 to channel climate and environmental finance to smallholder farmers through IFAD-supported programmes.  A multi-year and multi-donor financing window, ASAP will provide a new source of co-financing targeted specifically at scaling up and integrating climate change adaptation in ‘regular' smallholder development programmes. Through ASAP, IFAD aims to transform incentives within IFAD and its partners to increase the impact on climate resilience of its approximately US$1bn per year of new investments.

IFAD's Executive Board approved on 21 September the first ASAP grant, making the programme operational. The US$4.9 million grant to the Republic of Mozambique will finance smallholder adaptation to climate change in the three southern provinces of Gaza, Inhambane and Maputo, in which rural poverty is particularly high.

The grant is fully integrated in the Pro-poor Value Chain Project in the Maputo and Limpopo Corridors (PROSUL), a US$45 million project approved end-September by IFAD's Executive Board. The project supports pro-poor and climate resilient improvements in three value chains: irrigated horticulture, cassava and red meat, reaching out to over 20,000 households. PROSUL is designed to increase the income of smallholder farmers through sustainable intensification and diversification of agricultural production, improving links with markets, strengthening the skills base of local farmer organisations and increasing farmers' net benefits from agricultural value chains.

As agricultural production in the arid and semi-arid target area of PROSUL is highly exposed and sensitive to scarce and irregular rainfall, the project integrates a range of complementary activities that protect rural value chains from the adverse effects of dry spells and drought.  This responds to findings from recent scientific studies which suggest that within only ten years from now, the impact of climate change will be increasingly felt within the Limpopo Corridor, particularly through the lowering of soil moisture content prior to the onset of rains.

Recognizing the additional threats that climate change is posing on PROSUL supported activities, IFAD's Adaptation to Smallholder Agriculture Programme (ASAP) is financing a suite of activities that make PROSUL more climate resilient and preserve the value chain investments that smallholders will be making with project support.  These activities include the installation of robust and efficient water management infrastructure, the improvement of the weather stations network to enable better analysis and forecasting of weather events, capacity building for local farmer groups; and the introduction of sustainable agriculture techniques that are more resilient to climate shocks, such as intensified cassava production systems that integrate mixed cropping and improve household food security, and community based natural resource management plans.

Long-term expected results include the strengthening of farmers' capacities to deal with new and emerging risks in a changing environment, and the reduction of soil degradation as well as crop and livestock losses in drought-prone regions.

Press release No.: IFAD/60/2012

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 about US$14.3 billion in grants and low-interest loans to developing countries through projects empowering over 400 million people to break out of poverty, thereby helping to create vibrant rural communities. IFAD is an international financial institution and a specialized UN agency based in Rome – the United Nations' food and agriculture hub. It is a unique partnership of 168 members from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), other developing countries and the Organisation for Economic Co operation and Development (OECD)