EIF’s CRAVE and IREMA Projects holds joint Board Meeting
The Environmental Investement Fund of Namibia’s (EIF) Green Climate Fund (GCF) funded projects “Climate Resilient Agriculture in three of the Vulnerable Extreme northern crop-growing regions (CRAVE) Project” in Collaboration with the “Improving rangeland and ecosystem management practices of smallholder farmers under conditions of climate change in Sesfontein, Fransfontein, and Warmquelle areas of the Republic of Namibia (IREMA Kunene Project)” hosted their Project Steering Committee (Board) meetings on the 16th May 2022, in Katima Mulilo, Zambezi Region. The trip was combined with field exposure visits and familiarization with selected project activities on the ground. The aim was to ensure PSC members have at least a ground picture of the project outputs and an insight of the project impact, while strategically creating that motivational feeling to the farmers.
The CRAVE Project aims to reduce climate vulnerability, increase the adaptive capacity and resilience of vulnerable small-scale farming communities in vulnerable extreme northern crop producing regions that are threatened by climate variability. The total GCF grant envelop amounts to US$ 9.5 million while the Government of the Republic of Namibia contributed US$ 500 000 co-financing. The project is being executed by the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Land Reform (MAWLR) through an agreement with the Fund. This is a 5-year investment that covers the implementation period of 2016-2022.
Meanwhile the IREMA Kunene Project is exclusively ring-fenced for the drought-stricken Kunene Region and also runs over a 5-year period (2019 – 2024). The project aims to reduce the vulnerability of smallholder farmers under climate change conditions by safeguarding natural capital that generate ecosystem services to sustain agricultural production systems. The GCF investment for this project amounts to US$ 9.3 million and matched by the Namibian Government contribution to the tune of US$700,000. The project is also being executed by the MAWLR under an agreement with the EIF. Some of its notable activities include the development of an early warning system for disaster risk management, solar-retrofitting and rehabilitation of selected boreholes/water points, development of backyard gardens and rehabilitation of Warmquelle and Khowarib Green Schemes.
As a standard process, the aim of the Project Steering Committee (PSC) meeting is to have a platform where members interrogate and discuss issues pertaining to the project implementation and makes harmonized decisions for accurate implementation of the project activities. Among the discussions held, the PSC deliberated on the sustainability of the two projects beyond their implementation periods, and the challenges that are poised towards the effective sustainability of the projects beyond completion. The PSC members further deliberated on the incorporation of the two projects into the MAWLR annual work plans for ease of implementation and execution.
A field excursion was organised for the PSC members to visit several project sites and farmers in the Zambezi Region under the CRAVE Project. The delegation visted Mr. Mulyokela garden, situated approximately 40km south of Katima Mulilo on the main road to Ngoma Border Post. On the farm was tomatoes on two plots of 0.25ha each and cabbage on 3 plots of 0.15 each. About 5000 and 7500 seedlings of tomatoes and cabbages are in a nursery ready for transplanting. The farmer produces in such a way that he ensures a constant supply to his customers as per the agreements in place with suppliers such as Choppies Stores and Shakar.
Another farmer visited was Mr. Klemens Makumbi, located in Kopano area, about 3km, north-east of Katima Mulilo on the main Road to Wenela Border Post. In production was cabbage (0.25ha0, Onion (0.1ha), Potatoes (0.1ha) and tomatoes (0.15ha). The farmer produces throughout the year with various crops depending on the season. The farmer also has agreements with retailers such as Shakar and Pick n Pay.
The last site visited was the Makanga Demo plot. This site is located about 70km West of Katima Mulilo on the main road to Kongola. By the time the members visited the site, harvest has already taken place, but familiarised themselves with the water source (borehole) on the site.
It was a gratitude feeling for the farmers to see high level officials of the sister projects attending their sites. The farmers continue to show their ability and willingness to continue with their farming activities beyond the project tenure.