BEIJING, September 5, 2014 – Recently the World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors approved a grant of US$5.1 million from the Global Environment Facility (GEF) to the People’s Republic of China in support of the Climate Smart Staple Crop Production Project.
China’s intensive crop production relies on high consumption and inefficient use of fertilizers, pesticides and irrigation water inputs. The situation is aggravated by unsustainable crop production practices which often include excessive tillage, straw burning, and low rates of organic residue return to soil, mono-cropping or limited crop rotation, and flood irrigation. As a result, China’s crop production is responsible for significant greenhouse gas emissions.
The Climate Smart Staple Crop Production Project is designed to demonstrate climate smart and sustainable staple crop production through promotion of low carbon production techniques and practices in two counties - Huaiyuan County of Anhui Province and Yexian County of Henan Province. It will target on the production of three main staple crops under two major crop production systems: the rice-wheat system in Huaiyuan and the wheat-corn system in Yexian.
“This project is the first operation under the climate change cooperation framework between the Government of China and the World Bank. It supports the country’s efforts to address climate change issues in the agricultural sector which is a major source of greenhouse gases,” said Nathan Belete, World Bank Agricultural Practice Manager. “By introducing the new concept of climate smart agriculture, this project aims to achieve triple wins in China’s agricultural intensification process – mitigate climate impacts of crop production, improve climate resilience of crop production systems, and maintain and improve crop productivity,” he added.
Financial and technical support will be provided to over 19,000 farmers’ households in 30 villages to help them improve their crop production practices.
The Global Environment Facility (GEF) unites 183 countries in partnership with international institutions, civil society organizations (CSOs), and the private sector to address global environmental issues while supporting national sustainable development initiatives. An independently operating financial organization, the GEF provides grants for projects related to biodiversity, climate change, international waters, land degradation, the ozone layer, and persistent organic pollutants.