5,000 Farmers to benefits from GEF-7 FOLUR-IP Project in Cross River

The  Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations FAO says about 5,000 Crosrverians have been projected to benefit from the the Global Environment Facility-7’s (GEF-7) Food Systems, Land UseG Restoration, FOLUR, Impact Program (-IP) project funded by the Global Environment Facility with a target of at least 50% women“Promoting Integrated Landscape Management and Sustalnable Food Systems in the Niger Delta Region in Nigeria, specifically in Cross River and Ondo States.

The States of Ondo and Cross River have been selected through a rigorous process as the 2 pilot states with the value chains of Cocoa and Oil Palm as focus.

The GEF-7’s FOLUR-IP Project is designed to transform the Niger Delta’s cocoa and palm oil production systems and landscapes towards sustainability and resilience, delivering multiple environmental and social benefits through its compartmental activities.

The project when implemented would yield numerous benefits, such as 795,200 hectares of landscapes covered by Integrated Land Management plan 110,000 hectares of land under sustainable practices with “at least a 20% increase in the yield of cocoa and oil palm per hectare by project closure and 10,000 people would benefit from income diversification interventions, with a target of at least 50% women.”

The workshop had its objectives to ensure that the involved stakeholders and partners have clear understanding of their roles and responsibilities the project, discuss the co-financing commitments of the key partners and develop ‘strategies’ to ensure its effective and timely delivery for project implementation, and how to explore additional co-financing sources, develop the operational strategies and detailed workplan for year 1 amongst others.

In his remarks the Chief Technical Adviser of Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations Professor Adebayo Olandipo said the objective of the project is to transform the Niger Delta Cocoa and Palm production System and landscapes towards Sustainability and resilience , delivering multiple environmental and Social benefits.

According to Professor Adebayo the Niger Delta region is losing its rainforest at an alarming rate, with agricultural expansion , especially the expansion of Cocoa and Palm Oil , the most important driver of deresforestation and degradation.

In her remarks a Climate change expert Nitsimi Ogukua said a lot of commitment is expected from the government of Cross River State on the project.

She said the project is targeting 50 percent Woman and youth in the 8 local government Areas of Cross River State, the in clude Biase, Ikom, Boki, Obubura, Ogoja, Akamkpa, etc.

She said (FOA) is known for accountability and transparency and that the program will not be hijack by politicians, because the project is evidence based.

Good will messages from the Cross River State Government were expressed by the Commissioner for Aqua Culture, Irrigation and Livestock, Commissioner for Lands Francis Ekpeyong, the Traditional Rulers Council, the state House of Assembly

Hon. Bette Philip Obi member representing Boki 1 State Constituency promised to ensure that the program succeed.