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Community / Land projects / Irrigated Horticulture Support Activity

Irrigated Horticulture Support Activity

€4564547.746

05/22 - 05/27

Active

This project is part of

General

Lesotho II Compact - Market Driven Irrigation Horticulture (MDIH) Project - Irrigated Horticulture Support Activity; This Activity focuses on helping smallholder farmers and landowners overcome the obstacles to sustaining their irrigation systems by providing relevant technical assistance and attracting experienced commercial farmers to help leverage smallholder efforts and sustain infrastructure investments. To maximize benefits, the Activity features interventions designed with SBC and gender and inclusion in mind, and MCC and the Government expect the interventions to directly contribute to the long-term sustainability and profitability of the Program�s investment in irrigation. The Activity is comprised of the following sub-activities, and will be managed or coordinated by a team of expert consultants who will provide support, training and coordination of all capacity building interventions: (A) Land Rights Formalization Sub-Activity This sub-activity works in tandem with the Rural Land Registration Reform Sub-Activity by focusing on ensuring holders of land rights are able to secure those rights through leases registered with the LAA, taking advantage of the strongest form of land holding in Lesotho. (B) Scheme Management and Capacity Building Sub-Activity Successful management, operation and maintenance of the Irrigation Schemes will require new institutions that are designed for the context of Lesotho as well as a cadre of smallholder farmers and other community members skilled and trained to support those institutions. The Scheme Management and Capacity Building Sub-Activity seeks to provide these two key ingredients through the following interventions: (C) Financial Assistance Program Sub-Activity This sub-activity is designed to address the immediate or short-term financial barriers that hinder small-holder farmers and small- to medium-sized commercial entities from participating in irrigated horticulture, such as the costs for mechanized equipment and the recurrent costs for inputs or maintenance and repair of equipment. To cover these costs and get small-holder farmers operating as soon as possible, this sub-activity provides grants to smallholder farmers to cover their capital requirements including costs of on-farm connections to the main irrigation systems and of mechanized machinery. Additionally, the sub-activity supports a cold chain innovation challenge that will award grants to small businesses that design energy efficient and affordable mobile products for precooling or the process of removing field heat from produce immediately after harvest to slowdown the deterioration and senescence processes thereby decreasing potential post-harvest loss. Given that post-harvest handling and cold chain management in particular are generally expensive and consume significant energy, the Parties expect that developing an affordable precooling system will work to reduce financial barriers of irrigated horticulture for smallholder farmers.