Fund for African Private Sector Assistance (FAPA) donors and African Fertilizer and Agribusiness Partnership (AFAP) have signed grant agreement worth $1 million in support of local supply and utilization of fertilizer in Nigeria and four other African countries including Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Mozambique, and Tanzania
The agreement signed is expected to help increase affordability, accessibility, and incentives for fertilizer use among smallholder farmers in the region and expand its supply and distribution by leveraging investments.
The grant signed Wednesday between Jennifer Blanke, the African Development Bank’s vice-president for agriculture, human and social development, and Jason Scarpone, CEO of the African Fertilizer and Agribusiness Partnership, on the sidelines of the AfDB’s Annual Meetings in Busan, Korea, is also intended to create over 1,000 jobs for women and youth.
According to Blanke, “This project is very much in line with the Feed Africa strategy of the African Development Bank. It will promote the greater local supply of fertilizer to farmers thereby increasing productivity, which is central to the transformation of value chains.”
This initiative complements the Bank’s strategy for transforming agriculture value chains in regional member countries and strengthening private enterprises. It also helps improve access to finance for blending companies and joint ventures in the agriculture sector. It will enhance distribution through agriculture input systems with agro-dealer networks in the targeted countries: Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Nigeria, Mozambique, and Tanzania.
“Agriculture is one of the five priority areas of the Bank. In sub-Saharan Africa, 60 percent of the population lives in rural areas, while the proportion of agriculture in GDP is less than 20 percent,” said Soichiro Imaeda, Parliamentary vice-minister for finance in Japan, one of the donors to FAPA.
“Improving agricultural productivity is an urgent issue in achieving sustainable economic growth in Africa. We hope that this project will be effectively utilized and that farmers’ access to fertilizer will expand and agricultural productivity will increase in the five target African countries including Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Mozambique, Nigeria, and Tanzania.”
“Today’s (Wednesday) grant agreement is not just about improving the productivity of smallholder farmers in Africa; it also encourages local supply and utilization of fertilizer in Africa. We’ll continue, through FAPA, to support agriculture finance projects in Africa,” Olivier Eweck, Director of the Syndication, Co-financing and Technical Solutions Department at the Bank, and Chair of the FAPA Technical Committee, said.
The Fund for African Private Sector Assistance is a multi-donor trust fund that provides grant funding for technical assistance activities to public and private sector entities domiciled in Africa.