The Federal Government has secured a $600million credit facility from the World Bank International DevelopmentAssociation (IDA), under the Agro-Climatic Resilience in Semi-Arid Landscape (ACReSAL) project to tackle the challenges of land degradation in the 19 northern states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
ACReSAL is a six-year project targeted at improving the implementation of sustainable landscape management practices in the north and also strengthening the enabling environment for integrated climate-resilient landscape management.
The project is implemented against the backdrop of the deteriorating rate of the nutrient content of major crops in the last two decades due to climate change forcing an expansion of the area under agriculture and increased import to meet the needs of the country’s growing population.
In the same vein, the project at the Harvest Plus, ICRISAT Consultative Workshop on climate-resilient and nutrition in Abuja yesterday, the National Project Coordinator NEWAP ACReSAL, Dr Salisu Dahiru, said the project is targeted at addressing the challenges of environmental degradation including deforestation, erosion, water management, meeting the needs of the people in food production.
Dahiru, who was represented by Water Resources Specialist Ayuba Anda Yalaks said the project has about four components including deforestation, agriculture, water resources and environmental management.
Yalaks noted that the project has about four components which are deforestation, agriculture, water resources and environmental management.
According to him, pending the approval by the Federal Executive Council (FEC), the state government initiated project had a secure buy-in of the state governors, stressing that being a community-driven project, people at the community level have been well sensitised.
“For this project, we are considering the aridity index, the dry part of the country, because the challenges in terms of agriculture, water resources management, food production are huge which is why the project is being targeted at the north.”
Harvest Plus Country Manager, Yusuf Dollar in his comments said ICRISAT and HarvestPlus are both technical advisers for the project, saying the project is a climate activity from the Federal Ministry of Environment and the Agriculture.
He added that Harvest Plus has been promoting crops that are climate tolerant.
“Our primary objective is to breed and promote crops that have high-level nutrients that we can use to solve our nutrition and livelihood problems.”
Yusuf repeated the need for the creation of an enabling environment by the government for the value chain to thrive.