Support to Investment

Buy local, eat local focus of GAFSP proposal for Pacific Island nations

04/09/2020

The GAFSP awarded USD 12 million to Kiribati, Tuvalu, the Marshall Islands and the Federated States of Micronesia in 2019 as part of a multi-country funding proposal prepared by FAO and IFAD.

GAFSP offered USD 100 million in competitive grant funding, calling for proposals from 24 fragile countries – fragility being defined by climate risk and/or conflict.

The proposal for the northern Pacific Island nations explored ways to revive local food customs and to reduce imports like rice, sugar and soft drinks by replacing them with healthier, more nutritious local foods. Improved diets and nutrition will also reduce non-communicable diseases, such as diabetes, strokes and heart disease. 

The FAO/IFAD team carried out an initial scoping mission to identify agricultural priorities in the region. They followed that with multi-stakeholder workshops in each country to develop agricultural strategies and frameworks for national agricultural investment plans – the latter a prerequisite for GAFSP funding.

The workshops brought together traditional authorities and representatives from the private sector, civil society and various government ministries to pitch their ideas for priority areas for agricultural investment.

These workshops helped the team pinpoint common entry points. The four countries are composed mostly of coral atoll islands, where it is difficult to grow crops, and salinity in the water and soil increasingly becomes a problem. It is difficult to access nutritious foods on these islands, and rates of non-communicable disease and adult obesity are high.

After drafting the proposal, the FAO/IFAD team organized a validation workshop to garner approval from all four countries – a process that deepened the nations’ sense of ownership. 

The success of the proposal was due in part to the excellent collaboration not only between FAO, IFAD and the countries, but also within FAO, including its Subregional Office for the Pacific Islands.

FAO, as supervising entity for technical assistance, will develop national agricultural investment plans with each country and detailed proposals for the GAFSP financing.

Photo credit ©Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade
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