Resilient Rural Belize Programme
The Resilient Rural Belize Programme is a six-year, US 20 Million Dollar programme aimed at minimizing the impacts of climatic and economic events on rural small farmers while supporting sustainable market access for their produce. The Programme became effective on November 30, 2018 with the signing of a USD 8 Million Loan Agreement between the Government of Belize (GOB) and the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD).
The Programme is operating countrywide and is targeting: (i) poor rural families; (ii) vulnerable rural families; (iii) households with less than 25 acres, engaged in part Bme or full-Bme farming; and (iv) formal and informal farmer organizations (cooperatives, associations, etc.) with the willingness and potential for improving productivity and farmer market access. The programme is expected to reach a total of 6,000 households or approximately 30,000 persons, from which 24,000 is expected to have strengthened resilience. Consistent with the importance of women in the rural economy, and in smallholder farming generally, at least 40% of programme beneficiaries will be women and similarly, recognizing the importance of youth for the sustainability of the sector, youth will comprise at least 20% of programme beneficiaries
The Programme’s primary focus is on the production of six vegetables (onions, tomatoes, sweet peppers, cabbage, le^uce and habanero peppers), one fruit (pineapple) and honey and related products. Inclusion of other products/commodities is dependent on market opportunities and the interest of small farmers.
The programme hast two (2) components:
Component 1 – Climate-Resilient Value Chains Development This component aims to address the constraints faced by small farmers and improve the profitability of the value chain process within the context of developing climate-resilient agriculture while reducing the financial, economic, and climate-related vulnerabilities that producers and households currently experience. Activities will focus on increased productivity and diversification of production, facilitation, innovation development and strengthening of producer organizations.
Component 2 – Climate Resilient Rural Infrastructure and Assets Development This component is intended to reduce physical vulnerability and anticipated impacts of climate variability and enhance access to markets through a range of public infrastructure investments, including the rehabilitation and provision of roads, drainage, and irrigation. The main selection criteria will be infrastructure schemes of common use (public) that address adaptation to projected climate change events and enhance the opportunities for agribusiness and rural enterprises identified for support under Component 1.
Funding for the Programme is being provided by:
- The InternaBonal Fund for Agricultural Development – USD 8 Million;
- The Green Climate Fund – USD 8 Million (currently in the final stages of approval)
- The Government of Belize – USD 3.2 Million;
- Programme Beneficiaries – USD 0.8 Million (by way of counterpart matching contribuBons).
The Ministry of Economic Development and Petroleum (MEDP) is the Lead Programme Agency with overall responsibility for programme implementation. The Ministry of Agriculture (MOA) plays a key role in programme implementation and works closely with the MEDP and the Programme Management Unit to ensure that agricultural sector priorities and strategies are duly taken into account throughout programme implementation. Strategic direction and oversight are provided by a Programme Oversight Commi^ee, chaired by the MEDP, and includes one representative from each of the following insBtuBons: Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Agriculture, Ministry of Works, Ministry of Rural Development, Ministry of Natural Resources and the National Climate Change Office. Day-to-day management and implementation of the project rest with the Programme Management Unit, which is anchored to the MEDP.
The Resilient Rural Belize Programme Headquarters is located at:
The national Agricultural Show Grounds