Guinea-Bissau: Food price crisis response program, additional financing project

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2. Project Objectives

The project development objective is to improve food security by supporting the most vulnerable population including children and increasing rice production in the project area.

3. Project Description

The project would help the Government of Guinea-Bissau's response to the food price crisis and will include three components: (i) support to improve food security for the most vulnerable population through school feeding and food for work programs; (ii) support for the country's Emergency Plan for the Agricultural Campaign 2008-2010 proposed by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) to increase food production and productivity, with a particular focus on rice; and (iii) project coordination, monitoring and evaluation. The proposed Project is expected to be completed over a period of three years. The first component of the project (US$1.5 million) will be implemented by the World Food Program (WFP) and is designed to support provide support to the most vulnerable population through (i) the school feeding program; and (ii) the food for work program to rehabilitate land under rice. Since the WFP program is already under implementation, channeling funds from this project through the WFP will supplement the WFP program to provide an emergency response to the most vulnerable population of Guinea-Bissau. WFP and the Bank will enter into a specific agreement for the implementation of Component 1. Using the existing WFP framework and partners will also minimize the linkage and elite capture. The second component (US$3.0 million) will be implemented by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and is designed to support (i) matching grants for food production; and (ii) provision of technical support to the farm groups. While the project would support diversification and production of all food crops, the main focus will be to increase rice production. The objective of the third component (US$0.5 million) is to coordinate project implementation, monitoring and evaluation and the resources in accordance with the project objectives and procedures. The implementation arrangements and the project supervision will be designed to minimize elite capture and leakages.

4. Project Location and salient physical characteristics relevant to the safeguard analysis

The project will intervene in areas of potential food production throughout the country but with a specific focus on six regions namely: Bafata, Biombo, Bissau, Chacheu, Gabu and Oio. The project will support food production activities in these areas through provision of agricultural inputs (seeds and fertilizers, agricultural tools) and rehabilitation of dykes and drainage channels. There is plenty of community/ state land which is completely vacant which can be brought into cultivation; no person or communities will be displaced nor will assets be negatively impacted as a result of the project; no land will be used to increase cultivation if it is being utilized for purposes other than agriculture; it would be presumed that any person utilizing land for agriculture purposes would want to participate in the project benefits, however, it would be entirely voluntary. However, limited use of pesticides may be required for pests' control. Given theproject's focus on food production and productivity, and support on rehabilitation of dykes and drainage channels, and use of inputs including pesticides, three Bank safeguards policies are triggered; Environmental Assessment (OP 4.01), Natural Habitats (OP4.04) and Pest Management (OP 4.09), respectively. Although the size and nature of activities to be supported are not expected to cause any major environmental impacts, the project is rated as Category B. As per Bank safeguards policies the Government will be required to prepare and disclose in country and at the InfoShop the Environmental and Social Management Framework (ESMF), within six months of effectiveness of the Grant Agreement. The ESMF will formulate guidelines and procedures for environmental and social screening. It will also provide guidelines for pest and pesticides use and management, as efforts, under the project, to boost food production and productivity may have pesticide management implications. In addition, the ESMF will discuss institutional arrangements for implementation, along with any capacity strengthening and awareness raising measures deemed necessary for relevant stakeholder groups involved in implementation and monitoring of project safeguard measures.