IFAD President visits China - 1st stop: Sichuan province

IFAD President Nwanze started his visit to China. Today 9 October 2009, he landed, after a brief stop over in Beijing, in Chengdu, capital of Sichuan Province.

He was warmly received by Mr. Wei Hong, Executive Vice Governor of Sichuan Province, and a delegation of the Ministry of Finance. The Vice Governor expressed his gratitude to IFAD for supporting the Government rehabilitation efforts in Sichuan's rural areas which were devastated by an 8.0 earthquake in May 12, 2008. In view of the large devastation and the loss of thousands of lives, IFAD had offered immediately its assistance to the Government of China.

In April 2009, following a very short design phase , the IFAD Executive Board approved a loan and a grant, worth USD 30.5 million to complement the Chinese Government funds for the SPEAR project (Sichuan Post Earthquake Agricultural Rehabiliation Project).

The SPEAR project finances the reconstruction of biogas units, pig pens toilet and kitchen equipment for some 50,000 households. The biogas units will provide cheap and environmentally friendly energy to farm households and promote efficient and remunerative crop/livestock systems. In addition, support to the revitalisation of the agriculturals production will be provided through farmer training. on farm demonstrations in new production techniques and marketing. Farmer cooperatives will receive support to improve their service delivery.

The Vice governor awarded President Nwanze with a Medal in Memorial of people who provided support to the Sichuan population affected by the earthquake of 12 May 2008.

Thomas Rath, David Paqui, Sun Yinhong