WASHINGTON, November 30, 2017 — Over the next four years, another 3,900 Uruguayan farmers will be better prepared to face climate change thanks to additional financing approved today by the World Bank Board of Directors.
With these new resources, the Project for the Sustainable Management of Natural Resources and Adaption to Climate Change (DACC), approved initially in 2011, will benefit a fifth of farmers and cover more than half of arable lands in the country. Specifically, the project helps these farmers strengthen their productive capacity, integrate practices for sustainable natural resource management, increase resilience of agricultural production systems to extreme weather events, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions of the agricultural sector. The additional financing is for US$ 42 million.
“This is good news since it will enable the strengthening of the strategic objectives begun with DACC, which involved the adoption of an approach prioritizing the adaptation of agricultural systems, but without ignoring the co-benefits that this generates in terms of productivity and emission reduction,” said Tabaré Aguerre, Minister of Livestock, Agriculture and Fishing of Uruguay. “The project is in line with the Ministry’s priorities, which seek to consolidate the integrated approach applied in recent years and which promote the sustainable use of natural resources as well as the comparative advantages of the agri-food sector.”
The initial financing (US$ 49 million) produced significant results for the sector, such as the application of sustainable land management practices on 2.9 million hectares, the financing of 5,000 sub-projects – both individual and collective – on water access and management for crops and animals, natural pasture management and sustainable livestock. It also achieved the strengthening of agricultural organizations, support to the soil use and management policy and the launching of the National Agricultural Information System (SNIA, a georeferenced information system that integrates and generates data such as weather forecasts and early warning systems).
“During the past decade, Uruguayan farmers have been exposed to more frequent, more serious flooding and extreme drought,” said Jesko Hentschel, World Bank Director for Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay. “The only way to confront these exogenous challenges is to adapt both at the individual and collective levels. On the part of the producer, by improving natural resource management, and on the part of the government, by ensuring that everyone has the information and knowledge necessary to face these challenges. In this sense, Uruguay has been demonstrating an exceptional commitment, which has allowed it to enter the global scenario as a smart-farming country.”
The additional financing will continue to build on the impact achieved during the project’s first phase and will include innovative actions to improve resilience of family farming, collective risk and pasture management. It will also finance the expansion of activities to reduce dairy effluents in basins such as that of the Santa Lucía River, and to increase the reach of SNIA, making it available to producers throughout the country for the first time.
When this project is completed – in 2021 – the lands under sustainable management will have increased from 2.9 to 3.6 million hectares, a figure that represents 54 percent of the total arable land in Uruguay. For 2021, with the combined activities of the two financing periods, the project will have benefited 20 percent of all Uruguayan farmers with investments and technical assistance in the strengthening of organizations, sustainable natural resource management, and adaptation to climate change.
The loan has a maturity period of 17.5 years, with a five-year grace period and a variable interest rate.
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