In Response to Food Insecurity in Chad, the World Bank Boosts Agricultural Investment to Improve Production

May 17, 2012

WASHINGTON, May 17, 2012 - The World Bank's Board of Executive Directors today approved US$34.2 million to help rural communities and organizations in Chad increase agricultural and livestock production, while developing sustainable land and water management practices in climate-vulnerable ecosystems.

Agriculture and livestock production accounts for 21 percent of GDP in Chad and will continue to have a significant impact on growth and stability in the near future. It is an important source of jobs, employing over 2.3 million people—80 percent of the workforce. Approximately 4.6 million new job seekers will enter the job market over the next 15 years, where 3.1 million will be in rural areas.

The Emergency Agricultural Production Support Project (PAPA) for Chad will finance basic agricultural infrastructure and build the capacities of beneficiary communities and production organizations. In addition the project will help to facilitate investment in sustainable land management, production, processing, and marketing of products from the selected agricultural and livestock sectors. Finally, the project aims to provide institutional support and build public service capacities.

The PAPA will be implemented and structured based on a specific investment financed with IDA resources totaling $34.2 million, of which $25 million will come from IDA* (73 percent), $4.6 million (13.4 percent) from the Global Environment Facility (GEF), and $4.6 million (13.4 percent) from the Least Developed Country Fund (LDCF).

Since 2010, Chad has suffered from a prolonged period of drought, resulting in poor harvests and the loss of a large portion of livestock. In 2011, with the delayed rainy season coupled with levels of precipitation far below the norm, there was a significant reduction in planted areas which caused an almost 40 percent drop in grain production and 28 percent in other food crops. The Sahel region was affected the most by the impact, where food production fell approximately 56 percent during the past agricultural season (2011–2012).

The food crisis, resulting from the production shortage that has been going on since 2010, led the Bank to implement an emergency assistance program supporting the efforts of Chad’s Government to increase agricultural and animal production. Indeed, as explained by Ousmane Diagana, the World Bank Country Director for Chad, “in order to allow the World Bank to react more quickly and directly to the urgent appeal from the State, the proposed agricultural production support project, financed by IDA, was converted to an emergency agricultural production support project. However, changes were made in order to redirect a portion of the resources toward quick-disbursing activities offering the greatest potential for improvement of food security in the short term, while simultaneously making use of GEF and LDCF support to reduce future vulnerabilities and ensure long-term food security."

According to Maniével Sène, Senior Rural Development Specialist and Task Team Leader for the Yaoundé-based Project, “to achieve its goal—increased agricultural and livestock production and improved productivity—the PAPA aims to establish two components devoted respectively to investment in communities (microprojects) and investment in producer organizations (subprojects). The latter will be used to channel resources to two beneficiary groups: producer organizations (50 percent) and women’s groups (50 percent).”

The project’s emergency assistance will target small farmers and livestock producers in the areas hit hardest by the drought, namely, Guéra, Kanem, and Bahr El Ghazel, while medium- and long-term activities will focus on areas with strong potential for significant increases in productivity and production (in particular, Moyen Chari, Mandoul, Salamat, Guera, Dar Sila).

* The World Bank’s International Development Association (IDA), established in 1960, helps the world’s poorest countries by providing loans (called “credits”) and grants for projects and programs that boost economic growth, reduce poverty, and improve poor people’s lives. IDA is one of the largest sources of assistance for the world’s 81 poorest countries, 39 of which are in Africa. Resources from IDA bring positive change for 2.5 billion people living on less than $2 a day. Since its inception, IDA has supported activities in 108 countries. Annual commitments have increased steadily and averaged about $15 billion over the last three years, with about 50 percent of commitments going to Africa.

Media Contacts
In Chad
Edmond Dingamhoudou
Tel : (235) 6612 7334
In Washington
Aby Toure
Tel : (202) 473-8302