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PRESS RELEASE October 20, 2017

WB: Project to reduce agro-climatic vulnerability of rural farmers in the State of Paraíba

WASHINGTON, October 20th, 2017 -  More than 44,000 rural agricultural families will benefit from a US$50 million loan approved today by the World Bank Board of Executive Directors for the Paraiba Sustainable Rural Development. The operation will help improve the access to water, reduce agro-climatic vulnerability and increase access to markets for rural inhabitants.

Located in the Northeast region of Brazil, more than 70% of the State of Paraiba’s total area (56,469.47 km²) is located in the “drought polygon”-- drylands characterized by poor soils, low and irregular precipitation and recurrent droughts. Water availability and security is expected to worsen with climate change.

“The project represents the efforts made by the State of Paraiba to make feasible investments that will have impact on the dignity and quality of life of the semi-arid population”, says Ricardo Vieira Coutinho, governor of the State of Paraíba. “The project will provide the necessary measures required to reduce vulnerabilities and increase the resilience of rural households, communities and agricultural productive systems”.

Exposure to weather events affects all agricultural producers in the state of Paraíba. However, the impact on the livelihoods of smallholders and family farmers, who often live in the drier and more fragile semi-arid regions (Sertão and Borborema), is greater because they have fewer buffers to protect themselves in bad times and fewer resources to adapt.

“This project represents the next step in the productive inclusion agenda,” explained Martin Raiser, World Bank director for Brazil. “The activities supported by our financing will directly improve access to water but also create resilience by connecting farmers better with markets thereby supporting higher incomes”.

The project will support institutional improvements, including to consolidate water supply systems, and create a state management system for rural water and sanitation. It will also finance training for community associations, productive alliances and municipal councils to strengthen their organizational and managerial skills, and foster the adoption of new climate-smart agriculture technologies.

Among the outcomes supported by the program are:

  • People in rural areas provided with access to improved water sources
  • Adoption of improved agricultural technology
  • Increase in gross value of sales of producers under productive alliances
  • Agro-climatic risk information system in operation

This one-tranche loan from the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) to the State of Paraíba is guaranteed by the Federative Republic of Brazil and has a final maturity of 18 years, with a 5.5 years grace period.

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