In 2009, The Government of Sierra Leone requested IFAD’s support (through the GEF Focal Point and the UNFCCC Focal point) to mobilise a complementary proposal to the RCPRP, to address climate change concerns. The proposal for an LDCF project grant for US$ 2 644 800 was developed in 2010, and the grant was CEO Endorsed on 21 December 2010. In August 2011, the project became effective with the signing of the Grant Agreement between IFAD and the Government of Sierra Leone.
Integrating Adaptation to Climate Change into Agricultural Production and Food Security in Sierra Leone (IACCAPFS) project is designed within the overall framework of the NAPA implementation in Sierra Leone. The overall objective of this LDCF operation is to reduce the vulnerability of the food supply system to the deleterious impacts of climate change. The specific objectives are to lessen the impact of climate change on vulnerable rural communities, as well as on the natural resource base, both of which are critical for sustaining agricultural production and increasing food security.
The IFAD/LDCF project will complement the activities undertaken under Phase I of the RCPRP and those planned for RCPRP-PLUS. The LDCF components are fully embedded in the RCPRP-PLUS in a synergetic manner that will ensure that the LDCF funding is covering additional costs associated with the adaptation needs that were identified in the NAPA and further discussed at all levels (national, provincial and grass-roots) during the PPG phase.
For sustainable development of inland valley swamps (IVSs) for rice/other food crop production, climate resilient rice varieties have been introduced for cultivation in the rehabilitated inland valley swamps. A recent rice yield study shows that the average yield of project supported farmers is 3.22 Mt/ha and for non-project supported farmers is 1.58 Mt/ha. A two sampled t-test of significance showed that the difference in yield of project supported farmers and non-project supported farmers is highly significant at 95% confidence interval. Also, Twenty (20) farmer field schools have been established in the four districts to demonstrate group formation and cohesion in solving climate change hazards, devising good adaptive methods and value chain of various food crops.
With respect to the integrated water and natural resources management for adaptation component, twenty (20) rainwater harvesting facilities have been installed in the four districts to encourage farmers to embark on backyard garden. Greenhouse technology was also piloted in the four districts to promote good agronomic practices in the uplands. The project has also established four earth dams to hold water throughout the year so that farmers would be able to utilize the swamps all year round.
In terms of capacity building and awareness raising of climate change at institutional and local level, four (4) automatic weather stations have been installed in the four districts of Kenema, Kailahun, Kono and Koinadugu. The objective is to provide agro met data for use by farmers in order to mitigate the adverse effects of climate change on crop cultivation. In building the capacity of met department, three (3) met staff are currently enrolled in the meteorological college in Lagos pursing an advance degree in Agro Climatology. In terms of sensitization, community leaflets have been produced to increase awareness on climate change and 260 women have been trained on climate change issues using the Gender Action Learning System (GALS) methodology.
Project Management and M&E functions will be fully co-ordinated and integrated within the management structure of the RCPRP-PLUS, with a joint planning process and sequencing.