AfDB, IFAD sign new pact to support 40m African farmers, increase financing
Riding on the renewed zeal to ramp up agriculture and agro investment, African Development Bank (AfDB) and International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) have signed a new memorandum of understanding (MoU) to extend funding to 40 million farmers and double their productivity.
The letter of intent, which aims at increasing Pan-African agriculture funding campaign of the organisations, was signed by presidents of the two bodies, Dr. Akinwumi Adesina and Alvaro Lario, yesterday, at the ongoing second Feed Africa Summit holding in Dakar, Senegal.
Both leaders promised to follow up the ceremony with concrete actions that would double productivity of 40 million African farmers to produce 100 million metric tons of food to feed 200 million people.
The initiative comes at a time some African countries are battling to stave off famine. About 283 million Africans are said to go to bed hungry daily, while a World Bank report revealed that four, out of 10 nations with escalating food prices last year, were Africans. Zimbabwe topped the list with triple-digit food inflation.
Complementing AfDB’s Feed Africa mission, the project known as Mission 1 for 200 (M1-200) rides on success stories of both organisations. It also reinforces the need to build sustainable agriculture systems and consolidates existing commitments of the two parties to increase productivity through aggressive funding programme, strong collaborations, technologies, access to market, as well as research and development.
According to the concept note shared by the AfDB communications team, the MoU builds “on strengths of the two organisations – IFAD with smallholder farmers and linking them to markets and AfDB with Technologies for African Agricultural Transformation and the Special Agro-Industrial Processing Zones (SAPZ) Initiative.”
The document reads on: “Mission 1 for 200 offers an opportunity to leverage the Bank and IFAD’s long-standing partnership and investments in the public sector to catalyse and mobilise additional finance for agriculture development on the continent. By leveraging operations of both AfDB and IFAD, Mission 1 for 200 hopes to attract additional financing from innovative and non-traditional sources. Mission 1 for 200 will also take advantage of the momentum around climate adaptation and mitigation to approach green and climate funds as a long-term support solution.
“The Nigeria SAPZ Programme Phase 1 is a good example of the two organisations’ collaboration and co-financing at scale, with $210 million by the Bank (including $50 million through AGTF) and $100 million by IFAD along with other investors (Green Climate Fund, Islamic Development Bank etc), totaling more than $500 million.”
Some possible interventions from the collaboration are scaling and dissemination of proven food production technologies, capacity development, strengthening of local agro inputs market, as well as supporting agricultural practices that combine productivity, sustainability and resilience.
Others are mobilising and facilitating alignments across different sources of finance/investment to achieve scale and sustainability, supporting innovative and effective business models in value chains and improving the regulatory environment.
Adesina described the agreement as a forward-looking and bold initiative that would be matched with actions to unlock the vast potential of African agriculture sector.