The African Development Bank (AfDB) and the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO) said yesterday they have joined hands to mobilise $100 million over the next five years to be invested in various agricultural projects in Africa.
“Specifically, the new strategic alliance seeks to enhance the quality and impact of investment in food security, nutrition, social protection, agriculture, forestry, fisheries and rural development,” the institutions said in a joint statement.
AfDB President Akinwumi Adesina and FAO director general José Graziano da Silva signed the agreement on behalf of the two institutions.
“Leveraging investments in agriculture, including from the private sector, is key to lifting millions of people from hunger and poverty in Africa and to ensuring that enough food is produced and that enough rural jobs are created for the continent’s growing population,” said da Silva.
FAO is a specialised agency of the United Nations that leads global efforts to defeat hunger.
Adesina said the agreement signalled the bank’s commitment to accelerated investment in public-private-partnerships.
“This will help us achieve the vision of making agriculture a business, as enshrined in the Bank’s Feed Africa strategy,” he said.
The Feed Africa strategy, launched in 2015, targets to invest US$24 billion into African agriculture over a ten-year period. The aim is to improve agricultural policies, markets, infrastructure and institutions to ensure that agricultural value chains are well developed and that improved technologies are made available to reach several million farmers.
AfDB and FAO have previously collaborated in support of agricultural programs in countries such as Côte d’Ivoire, Morocco and Cape Verde, Zambia, Tanzania and Côte d’Ivoire.
Over the years, FAO has availed an estimated $3,7 billion towards AfDB’s agriculture financing.