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UK launches climate programme in Nigeria

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By Mercy Kelani

About 4 million people, 50 percent women, will be supported by the project.

A foreign secretary, James Cleverly, made the announcement of a £2.89 million grant and £55 million Propcom+ contract, which is aimed at contributing to the transformation of the rural economy in Nigeria. The UK secretary announced the launch of the programme, which will support climate and growth by tackling social, environmental, and economic challenges to the land-use and food systems of the country. The contract and grant are under the £95 million Propcom + eight-year UK International Climate Finance programme.

The programme will support sustainable and climate-resilient forestry and agriculture that will be beneficial to people, nature, and climate. About 4 million people — of whom 50 percent will be women — will be supported by the project, to embrace adoption and scaling of sustainable agricultural practices that boosts climate resilience and productivity, while enabling reduction of emissions and protection of natural ecosystems. The initiative depends on the investment of the United Kingdom (UK) government in agriculture.

Addressing the effects of climate change is key for the UK government.

Reliance of the project is on foreign agricultural investment through the Propcom Mai-Karfi programme, which was concluded in March after it had added value to the lives of more than 1.25 million people by improved their incomes through major market policies and reforms that were of benefits to poor men and women in the Northern region of Nigeria. James Cleverly also noted that support from the UK will contribute to the unlocking of $210 million of financing from the African Development Bank Group (AfDB).

This financing will be for participating Nigerian states to develop critical infrastructure and associated activities as a part of the Special Agro-industrial Processing Zones (SAPZ) programme. In his speech at the launching event, British High Commissioner to Nigeria, Richard Montgomery, stated that addressing the effects of climate change and reducing emissions is a primary priority for the government of the UK and its commitment to enabling sustainable pro-poor climate-resilient growth in the country remains unwavering.

It aims at combating some of the major drivers of insecurity in Nigeria.

Through the programme, strategic market actors will be worked through to boost the productivity of smallholder farmers, enhancement of climate resilience, protection and restoration of nature, improvement of nutrition and food security, and pursuance of reduced emissions. It also aims at combating some of the major drivers of conflict and insecurity across Nigeria. The programme began in May 2023 and is under implementation by The Palladium Group. Initial focal states of the project include Jigawa, Edo, Kano, Kaduna, and Cross River States.

In this programme, climate-smart agricultural interventions will be delivered to support the poor and people who are vulnerable to climate change. It will also work feasibly in some states in the Southern part of Nigeria to tackle issues surrounding deforestation and drive sustainable land-use management. Political Director and Country Representative of Propcom+, Adiya V. Ode, said that the programme will function as a market facilitator for identification of constraints in market systems and implementation of interventions with the aid of three broad-based inter-linked pillars.

With three pillars, the programme will work as a market facilitator.

One focused portion of tested climate-smart interventions about agriculture and major processing and storage practices and models will be scaled up by the first pillar, to be adopted by millions of vulnerable and poor farmers, including small-scale business owners who have adopted usage of market-systems approach. The second pillar will develop, control and scale new business models that increase productivity, climate change resilience, lower emissions and boost nutrition outcomes. Pillar three will be focused on supporting an enabling environment for sustainable land-use and food systems through better policies.

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