5000 farmers are set to benefit from the World Bank, FAO, and partner interventions in establishing alternative livelihood projects in forest communities of Cross River State. The same initiative is ongoing in Ondo State. These two states have been chosen as the only Niger Delta states to benefit from the intervention due to their remaining vast forests and arable lands.
The National project coordinator of the Global Environment Facility, Prof Oladapo Adeyemi, revealed that the 5000 smallholder farmers were chosen from eight local government areas where the program aims to boost oil palm, cocoa, and alternative livelihood initiatives such as squirrel and rabbit rearing.
The 3-year FOLUR Impact Programme focuses on accelerating sustainability across the value chains of eight major commodities and food staples, including cocoa, coffee, livestock, maize, palm oil, rice, soy, and wheat. The program is intended to support people’s livelihoods and discourage further depletion of the remaining forests in the country, empowering the local communities.
The World Bank is funding the program through the Global Environment Facility, with the FAO as the official partner in Nigeria. The program also receives support from other partners such as the state government, the Central Bank of Nigeria, and Bank of Agric, with the co-financing expected to reach up to $50 million during the given period.