The African Development Bank (AfDB) has stated that its Africa Fertilizer Financing Mechanism (AFFM) strategic plan 2022-2028 is committed to mobilising funds to support the availability and appropriate use of fertilizer on the continent.
The move is apt especially at a time when Small Holder Farmers (SHFs) are grappling with high cost of farm inputs as a result of the unending Russia-Ukraine conflict.
The AFFM strategic plan 2022-2028 prioritises broadening access to finance through capital investments and policy reforms where technical assistance will also be provided to boost smallholder farmers’ access and appropriate fertilizer.
This was the crux of the meeting when 11 institutional members of the he AFFM’s governing council participated in a hybrid meeting hosted at the bank’s headquarters in Abidjan.
They were the African Union Commission, Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), International Fertilizer Development Center, the African Export and Import Bank, Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa, International Fertilizer Association, the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation, the Pan African Farmers Organization, Zimbabwe’s Ministry of Agriculture, the AfDB and the AFFM Secretariat.
The council members, however, congratulated the AFFM for successfully delivering trade credit guarantee projects in Nigeria, Tanzania, Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire.
The AfDB’s Vice President for Agriculture, Human and Social Development, Beth Dunford, said that the AFFM is one of the important vehicles for achieving the Bank’s Feed Africa Strategy objectives.
“It is no surprise that AFFM has been instrumental in supporting the implementation of the bank’s African Emergency Food Production Facility. I’m proud to say that the bank has mobilised our agriculture expertise to roll out facility programs in 24 African countries,” Dunford said.
Through the end of 2022, trade credit guarantees totaling $8.8 million provided 5.3 times leverage, enabling the provision of 112,268 tonnes of fertilizer to 690,896 smallholder farmers in the four countries. Under these projects, 97 small and medium enterprises gained access to finance, and 138 companies, including fertilizer suppliers, hub-agro dealers and aggregators, and 20,987 smallholder farmers, benefited from capacity building
To scale up its trade credit guarantee investments, the AFFM has developed a pipeline of projects for implementation in 2023. These will be rolled out in Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania.
The council has endorsed the AFFM annual report for 2022 and the work program and budget for 2023.
Ahead of the 2023 Africa Fertilizer and Soil Health Summit (AFSH), scheduled for June and July 2023 in Dakar, Senegal, Amb. Josefa Sacko, African Union Commissioner for Agriculture, Rural Development, Blue Economy and Sustainable Environment and chair of the AFFM Governing Council, said that AFFM must be strengthened to support the implementation of decisions that would emerge from the summit.
The Head of Rural Development Division at the African Union Commission, Ms. Janet Ademe, spoke on Amb. Sacko’s behalf.
The processes of sustainable production, distribution, use and management of fertilizers and soil health are critical for the transformation of African agriculture. All of these call for AFFM to undertake its function to avail appropriate financing instruments, which will allow the private sector to invest, and for our farmers to have access and appropriately use this important input in African agriculture.
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