SUPPORT TO AGRICULTURE AND FORESTRY DEVELOPMENT PROJECT
B.PROJECT STATUS 1
C.PROPOSED CHANGES 2
Closing date 2
Result indicator targets 2
Activity schedule 3
ANNEX 1: 4
SUPPORT TO AGRICULTURE AND FORESTRY DEVELOPMENT PROJECT RESTRUCTURING PAPER
This paper seeks to extend the closing date for South Sudan - Support to Agriculture and Forestry Development Project, (TF091282; TF099010), (P140786) from June 30, 2012 until December 31, 2012 to allow completion of ongoing civil works contracts which have been delayed by the slow movement of construction materials to sites - a result of rains that have worsened the already poor road conditions. The paper also proposes a revision to targets for some indicators in light of recent availability of more reliable data.
The objective of the project is to increase the productivity and production of participating smallholder farmers in agriculture and forestry. Currently, implementation of project activities is on track and rated moderately satisfactory while progress towards attainment of the Development Objective is also rated moderately satisfactory. The rating for implementation progress reflects delays in construction while the rating of attainment of the Development Objective is due to a downward revision of results attained so far. Key project objectives continue to be achievable. The project has reached 80989 beneficiaries with improved technologies, agro-inputs and advisory services which has helped increase the yield of staple crops by over 67 percent for participating farmers. The project has also increased the area under staple food crops by 150 percent compared to the baseline leading to higher production per household and implicitly, improved food security. Work at seven of the thirteen physical facilities that were targeted for construction or refurbishment has been completed.
Over 150 technical staff of the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, Cooperatives and Rural Development have been trained in a number of areas that are key to improved service delivery by the Ministry. The project has also rendered support to the development of a number of sectoral policies and a research management framework which is a first step in the establishment of an agricultural research system in South Sudan. Out of a total Grant allocation of US$30.2 million, US$27 million has been disbursed by April 30, 2012 while the undisbursed balance of US$3.2 million is fully committed.
There are no outstanding audit reports or interim Financial Reports. The audited financial report for year ended December 31, 2010 was qualified because of delays by a UN agency (UNOPS) contracted under the project to conduct its audits. Agreement has been reached with the agency to commence audits on July 2, 2012. Audit for the year ended December 31, 2011 is on-going. The project financial management systems which are managed by the GoSS Project Financial Management Unit used for all MDTF projects is satisfactory and acceptable and would still be used during the period of extension. FM risk rating is moderate and FM ISR rating is Satisfactory.
The project became effective on June 3, 2008 with an expected closing date of December 31, 2009. Due to a number of reasons, mainly related to capacity constraints at the implementing agency, initial progress was slow and in October 2009, the closing date was extended to March 31, 2011. The closing date was once again extended to June 30, 2012 when additional financing of US$14 million, mainly to support the construction of a number agricultural research and seed system facilities, was approved for the project.
The onset of rains has now rendered some critical roads impassable and contractors cannot move materials to construction sites in a timely manner, thus delaying completion of work at two sites (i.e., a hostel and classroom block at Kegulu Forestry Training Center and seed storage facilities at Palotaka Basic Seed Center). In addition, there were delays in contracting a company to supply seed processing equipment and according to the contract timelines, delivery and installation of the equipment cannot take place before December 15, 2012. The proposed extension is necessary to allow completion of the remaining civil works and to allow delivery and installation of seed processing equipment that was sourced from India. The proposed closing date extension will be the third and will result in a cumulative extension of 39 months.
Result indicator targets
Capacity weaknesses in M&E in the project implementing agency coupled with the generally limited availability of reliable data in the country have constrained proper reporting on project progress. Misinterpretation of the data collection protocol by the implementing agencies and the PIU have for example led to double counting of beneficiaries while in some cases, erroneous data (mainly due to simple computation errors) was relayed to the Bank and thus used in reporting. The task team has over the last couple of months worked with the PIU and the implementing NGOs to validate data on progress and proposes to revise targets as follows:
Percent increase in areas under staples by participating farmers
Number of feddans cultivated with crops and trees by project participants
A revised Results Framework is attached as Annex 1.
The present plan was to finish all implementation by June 30, 2012. As outlined earlier, this is not possible and therefore the implementation schedule for the remaining works has been revised and agreed upon by the Bank as shown in the table below.
Description of activity
Implementation schedule (2012)
Construction of Forestry Training Centre in Kegulu-(Classroom & Hostel)
Rehabilitation of Palotaka Basic Seed Centre (seed store and guest house)
Delivery and installation of seed processing equipment