On Friday, July 14th, 2017, the Government of Grenada (GOG) signed an Aide Memoire for the Implementation Support Mission of the ongoing Market Access and Rural Enterprise Development Programme (MAREP) and Final Design for the new Climate-Smart Agriculture and Rural Enterprise Programme (SAEP) with the International Fund for Agriculture Development (IFAD) at the Ministry of Finance, St. George.
The Mission held from July 5th to 14th, 2017 reviewed MAREP’s implementation progress and areas of focus during the last eight (8) months of implementation.
For SAEP it reviewed the draft Programme Design Report (PDR) with counterparts, private sector representatives and beneficiaries; (ii) collected and analyzed data to conclude the PDR and (iii) discussed implementation arrangements with the key partners; mainly, Ministry of Finance (MoF), Ministry of Agriculture (MoA), Ministry of Carriacou and Petite Martinique Affairs (MoCPM) and Grenada Investment Development Corporation (GIDC).
SAEP is a six (6) year project expected to commence operation in April 2018. Total costs are estimated at around USD 12 million (around ECD 32 million).
IFAD will finance 53% of total costs: USD $3.4 million (28%) in the 1st cycle and USD 3 million (25%) in the 2nd cycle.
CDB will contribute 25% of total costs: USD $3 million for rural roads and drainage. Government of Grenada’s will contribute 17% of total costs: about USD $2 million mainly in taxes, salaries and operating costs.
GIDC will contribute 2.5% of total costs USD $0.3 million. Beneficiaries’ contribution is estimated at USD $0.3 million (2.5%) in labor, kind and cash.
The Mission endorses that MAREP “remains of a high standard. In the last 8 months of implementation before closure on March 31st, 2018 utilization of Loan funds and fully justifying initial deposit” is vital.
In addition, going forward the Mission emphasized MAREP’s two (2) main focus areas of implementation: (i) Vocational and Skills Training: finalization of VST courses and securing jobs for trained candidates.
(ii) Rural Investment Fund (RIF) projects: completion of thirty seven (37) out of thirty eight (38) approved and follow-up/approval of twenty six (26) projects under the Small-Scale Revenue Generating Window (SSRG).
Completion and hand-holding of twenty two (22) on-going RIF projects under the Community and Enterprise Windows to show assets-ownership by community members. Additionally, supporting the upgrading of MNIB’s export facilities is expected to aid beneficiary-farmers to secure export and local markets for their fresh fruit and vegetables.
Present at the signing was Mr. Lars Anwandter, IFAD Country Programme Manager, Dr Wayne Sandiford, PS Ministry of Finance & Energy (MOF) and Mr. Byron Campbell, Programme Manager MAREP.
Conclusively, the signing of the Aide Memoire indicates Government of Grenada’s commitment in addressing the reduction of rural poverty, youth unemployment, agricultural production, climate change and variability and sustainable livelihoods for farmers and vulnerable groups (youth, women) in rural communities across Grenada, Carriacou and Petite Martinique.