The World Bank has approved a three-year Global Environment Facility (GEF) Trust Fund grant of USD4.8 million, to support Senegal for a sustainable land management (SLM) Project.
According to Maniével Sène, the Task Team Leader, the project’s will “contribute to the reduction of land degradation and the improvement of ecosystem functions and services in the Groundnut Basin of Senegal by adopting sustainable land management practices through the provision of support to the research and agricultural and rural consultation system and to producer organisations’’.
He stated that this objective will be achieved by strengthening research and advisory capacity to generate and disseminate SLM messages, and by strengthening the ability of producer organisations (POs) to link to agricultural technology systems, apply new SLM practices, and participate in the formulation of sector policies.
The main part of the grant will serve to strengthen the capacity of producer organisations to integrate SLM in their production systems and of POs’ leaders to integrate SLM in the formulation of sectorial policies, to support the adoption of SLM practices, and to provide financial resources to implement SLM sub-projects.
The project will also convert 20,000 hectares of land to sustainable management, meeting specified targets for improvement of soil quality. Justifying the decision to integrate the grant to the IDA/IFAD Agricultural services and producer organisations project (PSAOP2) Manievel Sène argued that “the GEF grant will have more leverage in influencing the policy dialogue and mainstreaming SLM into the agricultural sector if integrated into the PSAOP2 instead of being a stand-alone project”. He recalled that all components of the SLM project are the same as PSAOP2’s.
The capacity of the Senegal Agricultural Research Institute (ISRA) will be strengthened to specifically generate and disseminate SLM-targeted research and knowledge. ANCAR (the National Rural and Agricultural Advisory Agency) and ASPRODEB (the Senegalese Association for Grassroots-level Development) will participate to the implementation of the project by supporting farmers to develop SLM practices in the Groundnut Basin.
Through the National Institute of Pedology, the grant will also enhance the capacity of sectoral ministries, such as Agriculture and Livestock, for policy formulation, planning, coordination, monitoring and evaluation.
The target areas are communities located in the most heavily degraded area in the country, the Groundnut Basin (GB). This zone is one of the areas in Senegal where land degradation is more severe, mainly because of inappropriate cropping practices. Maniével Sène mentioned that the basin is where synergy is more expected with many other IDA financed rural development projects.