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AfDB and FAO collaborate to boost Africa’s agriculture sector

The African Development Bank (AfDB) and the UN FAO have agreed to boost joint efforts aimed at catalysing agriculture sector investments in Africa to end hunger and malnutrition and increase prosperity throughout the continent

In terms of the agreement, the AfDB and FAO are committed to raising up to US$100mn over five years, to support joint partnership activities.

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.

“FAO and the AfDB are deepening and broadening our partnership to assist African countries to achieve the sustainable development goals. Leveraging investments in agriculture, including from the private sector, is important 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 José Graziano da Silva, FAO director-general.

Akinwumi Adesina, president of AfDB, noted, “The signing of this supplementary agreement is a milestone moment in the relationship between the African Development Bank and FAO. It signals our joint commitment to accelerate the delivery of high-quality programs and increased investment for public-private-partnerships in Africa's agriculture sector. This will help us achieve the vision of making agriculture a business, as enshrined in the Bank's Feed Africa strategy.”

AfDB’s Feed Africa strategy, launched in 2015, targets to invest US$24bn into African agriculture over a period of 10 years. The aim is that of improving 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.

A programme of action

The collaborative programme would be created through an initial financial contribution of up to US$15mn by the two institutions.

Joint advocacy and policy advice activities will include the promotion of the voluntary guidelines on the responsible governance of tenure of land, fisheries and forests and the principles for responsible investment in agriculture and food systems, both endorsed by the committee on world food security.

The recent collaboration between the Bank and the FAO include 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.

AfDB 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.