The African Development Bank has approved the participation of the Africa Fertilizer Financing Mechanism (AFFM) in a US$4 million partial trade credit guarantee with OCP Africa, a subsidiary of the OCP Group.
The project will reduce potential risks along the agricultural value chain, and improve access to quality inputs, including fertilizers, in Côte d'Ivoire and Ghana.
The three-year project, running from 2020 to 2023, will support 430 000 smallholder farmers, including 104 000 women, in the two countries and facilitate their access to quality and affordable agricultural inputs, as well as provide training in good agricultural practices.
The project will build on OCP Africa’s Agribooster, an initiative that relies on an inclusive approach to provide farmers access to quality inputs, training, finance and market linkages for increased yields, incomes and livelihoods.
Activities are expected to boost productivity and help increase rice and maize yields by 35% in Ghana and rice yields by 30% in Côte d'Ivoire. In light of these expected outcomes, OCP Africa and the AFFM will each contribute US$2 million in trade credit guarantees.
Lahcen Ennahli, OCP Africa’s Senior Vice President for West Africa, said: “The partnership with the African Development Bank will scale up and expand activities implemented under the Agribooster Initiative. We believe at OCP Africa that this initiative will serve as a model to further incentivise other private and development partners to enter into similar risk-sharing agreements that will have a positive multiplying effect on farmers, especially in the current context of COVID-19, which poses a serious threat to their welfare as well as to food security, inputs and agricultural know-how.”
“The African Development Bank is pleased to partner with OCP Africa to achieve the increased agricultural productivity objective of the bank’s ‘Feed Africa’ strategy. The project will contribute to the bank’s efforts to increase smallholder farmers’ access to modern farming inputs in order to increase productivity and promote agriculture as a profitable and sustainable business in Africa," said Martin Fregene, Director of Agriculture and Agro-industry at the African Development Bank.
The project is in line with the national development programmes of the two countries. It will support the implementation of the national rice strategy in Cote d'Ivoire, as well as the ‘Planting for Food and Jobs’ programme in Ghana.
“Through this project, the Africa Fertilizer Financing Mechanism is achieving its mission, which consists of supporting African countries to achieve the African Union target of application of at least 50 kg of fertilizer nutrients per hectare on the African continent,” said Marie Claire Kalihangabo, Coordinator of the Africa Fertilizer Financing Mechanism.
“This project is a good example of partnerships needed to transform the lives of African farmers and help them transition from subsistence farming to agribusiness,” added Younes Addou, Vice President Finance of OCP Africa.
Read the original article on World Fertilizer magazine