A memorandum of understanding (MoU) has been signed between the African Development Bank (AfDB) and International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) to fund 40 million farmers in Africa and double their productivity.
The MoU was signed by AfDB President Akinwumi Adesina and IFAD President Alvaro Lario at the second Feed Africa Summit in Dakar, Senegal.
Both promised to follow up the ceremony with concrete actions to double the output of 40 million African farmers to produce 100 million metric tonnes of food to feed 200 million people.
Some countries on the continent are battling to stave off famine.
About 283 million Africans go to bed hungry daily, and a World Bank report shows four out of 10 nations with escalating food prices last year were Africans. Zimbabwe topped the list with triple digit food inflation.
The project, known as Mission 1 for 200 (M1-200), rides on success stories of both organisations and will complement the Feed Africa mission of the AfDB.
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.
Building on strengths
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,” says the concept note shared by the AfDB, per The Guardian.
“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), totalling more than $500 million.”
Possible interventions from the collaboration include 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.