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The International Fund for Agricultural Development executed a Mid-Term Review to assess overall progress in the implementation of The Resilient Rural Belize

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Posted: Thursday, June 16, 2022. 2:01 pm CST.

Contributed by Resilient Rural Belize: The Government of Belize (GOB), with financing totalling BZ$40 million from the International Fund for Agriculture Development (IFAD), the Green Climate Fund (GCF), and participating beneficiaries has embarked on a six-year Resilient Rural Belize (RRB) programme which aims to minimize the impacts of climatic and economic events on agriculture Micro, Small and Medium (MSME) farms and households. The overall goal of Resilient Rural Belize is to improve the resilience of poor rural households. Its development objective is to build overall resilience to climate change by adopting new or improved climate-resilient practices, increasing and diversifying agricultural productions, and facilitating small farmers’ access to commercial market chains for the off-take of their surplus production. 

A Mid-Term Review (MTR) mission was carried out by the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) from June 6th to 17th, 2022 in order to assess the overall progress in the implementation of the Resilient Rural Belize programme (RRB). The mission focused on the following: 

  • Reviewing the overall performance and progress towards the achievement of targets, the likelihood of achieving the expected goal and outcomes, focusing on the potential adjustments to RRB’s design for ensuring the expected impacts on the target group within a feasible time frame. 
  • Review the total budget available and allocation to the different activities, focusing on streamlining the design to the core activities for achieving Programme’s goals and re-allocating funds to those activities that were not included in the initial design or require additional funds for ensuring quality of results. 
  • Review the implementation arrangements for the different sub-components and agree with the GOB and the implementing partners on measures that ensure value for money and effectiveness in the implementation. 
  • Review the Programme’ management and operational procedures and agree with the GOB on an action plan with clear deliverables, deadlines and responsibilities that contribute towards reduced delays in implementation. 

The mission held meetings with Hon. Christopher Coye, Minister of State for Finance (MOF); the Hon. Jose Aberlardo Mai, Minister of Agriculture, Food Security and Enterprises and Hon. Oscar Requena, Minister of Labour, Local Government, Community Development and Rural Transformation. They also met with Dr. Osmond Martinez, CEO, Ministry of Economic Development and Investment (MED); Valentino Shal, CEO, Ministry of Rural Transformation (MRT); Mr. Servulo Baeza, CEO, Ministry of Agriculture, Food Security and Enterprise (MAFSE), DR Victoriano Pascual and Mr. Jose Novelo from MAFSE, Food Security and Enterprise (MOA); Mr. Lennox Bradley, Chief Engineer from the Ministry of Infrastructure Development and Housing (MIDH); The National Meteorological Service of Belize (NMS) and the Inter-American Institute for Co-Operation on Agriculture (IICA). The mission also visited the following Producers’ Organization (PO); The Valley of Peace Lagoon Farmers’ Cooperative Society Limited, Seven Miles Farmers, El Progreso en Desarrollo Cooperative, Maya Green Growers, Los Pequenos Agricultores y Ganaderos de Nago Bank, Maskall Farmers Cooperative, Los Buenos Amigos Cooperative and Santa Rosa Development Cooperative, Northern Sustainable Agro-Producers and New River Farmers Cooperative Society. 

The RRB program expects, over the next two years, to collaborate with 30 Producers Organizations (POs) in providing technical assistance through training and capacity building, in supplying greenhouse and storage buildings, and in supplying irrigation equipment and facilities as well. The RRB program will do this through matching grant agreements through which each Producers Organizations (Cooperatives, Associations, etc…..)can access up to BZE$240,000 in matching grant funds with the POs providing a 15% match for the total cost in cash or in kind. 

The Government of Belize GOB has committed an additional USD 5 million for the infrastructure component of the RRB program which would enable it to rehabilitate 29.5 miles of agriculture feeder roads. IFAD and the Government of Belize has committed to ensuring that the RRB program achieves its stated objectives given that this is Belize’s first implemented project with the Green Climate Fund and IFAD’s first collaborative effort with them as well. 

 

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