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Belize reports progress with Agricultural loan-grant program

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Posted: Tuesday, August 23, 2022. 10:26 am CST.

By Zoila Palma Gonzalez: Belize has reported that it is making progress under an agreement with the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and with the Green Climate Fund (GCF), for a loan and grant toward the implementation of the Resilient Rural Belize Program (RRB), Caribbean NationalWeekly reports.

The RRB program is a 6-year program that ends in 2024, and the goal is to minimize the impact of climatic and economic events on smallholder farmers while supporting sustainable market access for their produce.

On Monday, the Ministry of Economic Development said the first component of the project calls for the administration and implementation of the Program’s Matching Grant Fund (MGF), the main objective of which is to support the achievement of the program’s objectives by co-financing investments that will improve, in volume and quality, smallholder farmer agricultural production and safeguard food security in the context of existing and projected climate change effects.

In addition, under the second component, there is a possibility for the upgrade of rural roads to benefit the beneficiaries of the project and the community.

In January of this year, consultations commenced with leaders of San Jose,Toledo.

The objective is to adequately inform the community about the project, its risks, and benefits; to negotiate the content of the program and implementation mechanisms; and to bring the community to a point where they can decide whether to give consent.

On Sunday, August 21, 2022, the eligible villagers gave their written “YES” consent to the Indigenous Peoples Plan (IPP) and Free, Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC) Agreement. This output of the consultation process is not a simple yes or no, but an agreement and plan that specifies the way forward including how the project will be implemented, benefits shared, how conflict may be resolved (grievance mechanism) and how additional consent, if that were necessary, will be obtained.

 

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