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The project has three (3) components: A. improved infrastructure for food security which comprises 3 sub-components (a) marketing infrastructure and agro-processing, (b) improved irrigation infrastructure, (c) rural roads; B. Promotion of Farm Diversification, and C. Project Management. Detailed description of the project components is as follows:
Component A: Improved Infrastructures for Food Security
Sub-component 1: Marketing Infrastructure and Agro Processing (UA 4.25 million): Under this sub-component, 7 existing agrarian houses will be rehabilitated to ensure that they are adequately equipped, including water and sanitation facilities. The rehabilitated agrarian houses will provide farmers with storage facilities, access to farming machinery, an input outlet (seeds, fertilizers, pesticides and farming tools). The project will assist the centers in establishing a first phase agro-processing facilities for post-harvest operations and value addition. In addition s, the Nhocoene agrarian house, will be equipped with a medium size cold storage room to encourage vegetable production by increasing produce shelf life. This cold room will be available for use by all the other agrarian centers. Finally, a main agro-processing center will be constructed in Xai-Xai to solidify marketing opportunities and introduce value adding to farmers in Gaza Province. The agro-processing center will be equipped with cold storage and processing facilities for fruits and vegetables. It is envisaged that the facility will be run using a PPP arrangement between government and the private sector.
Sub-component 2: Improved Irrigation Infrastructure (UA 9.0 million): Under this sub-component irrigation schemes covering 1050 ha will be developed in the Magula East Block of the Xai-Xai irrigation scheme. The irrigation water will be drawn from the Limpopo River through a pumping station that will be built nearby Magula. A primary conveyance system, Canal C2, with a total length of 7,372 m will be built starting from the Magula 2 pumping station. A secondary conveyance system of buried PVC pipelines will be constructed to derive water from Canal C2. Finally, a system of secondary drainage ditches will also be set up in this area.
To ensure that the scheme can withstand flooding due to climate variability and/or salt water intrusion, the main canals, particularly Canal C2 will be lined with geo-membrane (flexible plastic sheets) covered by plain concrete. This will stabilize the canal enabling it to withstand flooding and seepage. Based on lessons learned especially from the floods of 2000 and the recent cyclone of January 2012, a standby generator will be installed at Umbape Pump Station to ensure continuous operations of the drainage pumps during electricity blackouts. This will provide resilience to the scheme against floods and cyclones and will prevent crop damage.
The project will rehabilitate the two main drains in the scheme namely Umbape and Ponela and improve their management by installing sluice gates at their tail end. The project will also rehabilitate the irrigation and drainage infrastructure in an area of 2000 ha, which was developed during the first phase of the irrigation scheme. In this area, a number of intake and control structures will be rehabilitated and/or constructed to improve irrigation and drainage in the agricultural plots.
Finally, under this sub- component, the project will undertake land preparation for the areas under irrigation. The project will outsource maintenance of the irrigation and drainage network and feeder roads. The cost for these services will be fully covered by the project for the first year and will gradually be taken up by RBLEP in subsequent years of the project life.
Sub-component 3: Rural Roads (UA 9.5 million): Under this component all the major roads within the irrigation scheme will be rehabilitated and upgraded to All-Weather-Conditions. Rehabilitation will include drainage works and flood protection measures, especially on the western road separating and protecting the irrigation scheme from the Limpopo River. Other feeder roads within the irrigation scheme will be rehabilitated and leveled with measures to ensure their accessibility during the rainy season and reduce soil erosion due to rain water flow. These modifications of installing proper road drainage and solid slopes will render climate resiliency to the roads during flooding.
Component B: Promotion of Farm Diversification (UA 4.0 million)
Under this component the project will promote production of cash crops, mainly rice and vegetables, to improve farmers' incomes. For rice, it is envisaged that farmers will enter into direct contracts with private sector rice processors which are currently operating in the area. Some of these processors have been providing seeds and technical support to farmers, the cost of which is recovered from sales. There has, however been a problem in accessing other inputs including fertilizers and inputs. The project will work with existing rice processing companies and input suppliers to provide a one-off start-up production support to farmers using a voucher system. RBLEP together with the processors and input suppliers will roll out a revolving system to ensure farmers have access to inputs in the subsequent years and also to monitor and coordinate the whole process.
For vegetables, production will only be based on already secured markets. In addition to a marketing and agro-processing survey study that will be conducted in the first year of the project, service providers/marketing agents to facilitate access to markets will be engaged. Under a design - and - implement kind of contract, the service provider(s) will work with farmers to form appropriate groups, train farmers on value addition and post-harvest operations including cleaning, sorting, drying, cutting, packing, and also actively seek markets within and outside the country on behalf of the farmers. The project will pay the fees for the services. In the case of marketing agents (e.g. companies), RBLEP will assist farmers to enter into appropriate contractual arrangements with farmers prior to commencement of production. To enhance RBLEP's capacity to handle marketing issues, the project will recruit a well-experienced agricultural marketing technical advisor.
Also under this component, the project will provide training for a total of 1000 farm families in the drainage areas and Magula Block East (equivalent to 5000 beneficiaries) on irrigated agriculture. Training will include all on-farm procedures including the operation and maintenance of irrigation and drainage infrastructure, with special attention given to best practices on the use of fertilizers and pesticides. Staff of the BLRD will be trained on different agronomic and extension services and will be equipped with the necessary machinery to undertake these activities and maintain the irrigation scheme in an economic manner.
In order to improve crop diversification and climate resilience, a research institution will be contracted to undertake the testing and proofing of climate resilient seeds in four pilot farms to recommend CR seed varieties that are suitable for regions of Gaza Province. The research will also produce an easy-to-implement guide for farmers on adaptation to climatic changes in Lower Limpopo Region.
Component C: Project Management (UA 1.5 million)
This component will support the project's day to day implementation and management. The project will use the services of an M&E specialist who will be recruited under the Enhancing Climate Resilience through Sustainable Land Water Resources Management Project (ECR-SLWMP). The project will also support RBLEP in terms of training on financial management, procurement and disbursement, and software and hardware on monitoring and evaluation. The project will provide funds for annual project audit exercises and reporting.
Poverty reduction and climate resilience through enhanced agricultural productivity and value addition.
The project is aligned to the first thematic area of the Bank's CSP for Mozambique (2011 -2015), which aims to "enhance private sector competitiveness through infrastructure development". The project is also consistent with Mozambique's Action Plan for Reducing Poverty (PARP, 2011 - 2014) that aspires to achieve three strategic objectives;
(i) increase agricultural and fisheries production and productivity,
(ii) employment promotion, and
(iii) social and human development.
Mozambique is also extremely vulnerable to climate change where droughts and severe floods have been the most frequent cause of disasters in addition to saline inundation and coastal storms. Therefore, in designing this project emphasis was placed on the promotion of climate resilient infrastructure and climate smart agricultural activities as enunciated in the recently approved Strategic Program for Climate Resilience submitted under the Pilot Program for Climate Resilience (PPCR). The PPCR is part of the Climate Investment Funds.
Presently, a large number of community members are engaged in agriculture in the Irrigation Scheme at Xai Xai area and some organized into farmer associations. The project aims at promoting agricultural production through enabling resource poor communities to improve their land productivity, agro-processing and development of more areas. At least 60% the irrigated scheme is occupied by women, which will be the primary beneficiaries of the project. About 5000 farm families will directly and indirectly benefit from the project. Rice and vegetables productivity is expected to reach 6,000 and 2,400 tons annually. The project provision of machinery for land preparation under irrigation will improve productivity. The Project will also introduce threshing machines which will make rice processing much easier for women. These machines will be provided to farmer groups to ensure affordability resulting from shared cost. Technical support and training in the use of these technologies will also be organized by the extension services under BLRD. In addition, strengthening the existing dike separating the scheme from the Limpopo River will reduce the risk of coastal storms and sea water rise on the Irrigation Scheme.
SOLIMAN Wael Mohamed Roshdy - RDGS3