Global Agriculture and Food Security Program
As part of a $100 million commitment from 2009–10 to 2012–13, Australia has provided $60 million to the Global Agriculture and Food Security Program, managed by the World Bank (external website).
The program is an innovative partnership between donors, recipient countries, multilateral development banks, United Nations organisations and civil society. It provides much-needed funding to countries to implement their national food security and agriculture strategies. To date, the program has allocated $481 million in grants to Bangladesh, Cambodia, Ethiopia, Haiti, Liberia, Mongolia, Nepal, Niger, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Tajikstan and Togo.
A grant of helping to produce more and helping to increase the incomes and food security of poor rural communities.
A $50 million grant from the program is helping Rwanda’s strategy to improve food security through improved agriculture which produces 90 per cent of Rwanda’s food needs.
Around 11,000 households will benefit from this project which is transforming the hillsides of Rwanda as smallholder farmers are creating terraces to reduce water run-off and erosion and improve soil quality.
‘Before the project, most of our land was marginal,’ farmer Jean-Paul says. ‘Fertiliser washed away and even crops washed down the hillside. With terraces, now we will become more productive.’
Dams, reservoirs and irrigation will be built to save women and children significant time and back-breaking effort collecting water. Farmers’ access to markets and financial services is being improved to help them buy farming inputs, such as seeds and fertiliser.
‘I took 90 kilograms of seeds for Irish potatoes and I harvested 1250 kilograms. This was seven times better than my previous harvest,’ farmers’ group leader Vedaste said.