The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) is to provide the Republic of Guinea with a grant to improve the resilience of more than 2,123 poor farming households trying to cope with the Covid-19 pandemic.
Despite its rich natural resources, Guinea is among the poorest countries in Africa.
Low agricultural productivity, lack of wage employment, lack of access to financial services and poor rural infrastructure are all factors.
Guinea has significant undeveloped agricultural potential. Soil and weather conditions are highly favourable to agriculture and just 25 per cent of potential arable land is being cultivated.
Guinean agriculture consists mainly of family farming focusing on food crops, mainly cereals (rice and maize), tubers and palm oil.
IFAD is allocating US$530,840 to Guinea to support the activities of rural producers, ensuring rapid access to inputs, information, markets and cash.
“This grant to Guinea demonstrates IFAD’s commitment to support the Guinean government in addressing the impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic on Guinean populations, particularly those living in the most remote and vulnerable communities,” said Haoua Sienta, IFAD Country Director for Guinea.
In Guinea, women and young people are among the most vulnerable members of the rural population.
Women take on various roles within agriculture, from production and processing to small-scale commerce.
However, while they are legally recognised as equal to men, rural women are still disadvantaged. They have limited access to agricultural inputs, technical advice, improved technologies, land ownership and decision-making.
Only 22 per cent of adult women are literate, compared with 44 per cent of men. This low level of education among rural women directly affects their ability to access information, agricultural extension services and other production needs.
The project will establish a mechanism to promote access to financial resources for youth and women in rural Guinea.
The intervention will promote rural entrepreneurship to include youth and women in the development of their communities, and attract unemployed young graduates and returning migrants into agriculture.