The African Development Bank (AfDB) and the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) have committed to raising $100 million in five years to support joint partnership activities aimed at catalysing agriculture sector investments in Africa to end hunger and malnutrition and increase prosperity throughout the continent.
The commitment came following the signing of an agreement by AfDB President Akinwumi Adesina and FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva, as the two organisations at FAO headquarters in Rome.
“FAO and the AfDB are deepening and broadening our partnership to assist African countries achieve the sustainable development goals. Leveraging investments in agriculture, including from the private sector, is key to lift millions of people from hunger and poverty in Africa and to ensure that enough food is produced and that enough rural jobs are created for the continent’s growing population,” said FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva.
The deal is in line with AfDB’s Feed Africa strategy, which was launched in 2015 and targets to invest $24 billion into African agriculture over a ten-year period. The Bank aims to, through it, 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 millions farmers.
The AfDB and FAO have been working together since 1968, with FAO providing technical assistance to the formulation of 161 AfDB financed projects, valued at over $3.7 billion representing about 21 percent of AfDB’s support to the agricultural sector.
In recent times, the two organisations have collaborated on project formulation support in Tanzania and Equatorial Guinea; technical assistance for the development of Blue economy programmes in Côte d’Ivoire, Morocco and Cape Verde, feasibility studies for agricultural transformation centres in Zambia, Tanzania and Côte d’Ivoire; and participation in the African Leaders for Nutrition initiative.
The Bank and the FAO have also contributed to a series of continental dialogues on post-harvest loss reduction, and the Great Green Wall of the Sahel and Sahara Initiative.
In the new deal, FAO’s technical assistance would cover areas such as sustainable agricultural intensification and diversification, scaling up value chain innovations, youth in agriculture and agribusiness, agricultural statistics, climate smart agriculture, blue growth/blue economy, food security and nutrition, agri-food system, food safety and standards, women’s economic empowerment, promotion of responsible private investments, resilience and risk management and capacity building for transition states.
The collaborative programme would be created through an initial financial contribution of up to $15 million by the two institutions.