The board of directors of the African Development Bank (AfDB) Group in Abidjan has approved a loan of US$63.38mn to Senegal to implement the Agropole-Centre agro-industrial processing zone project
The Ministry of Industrial Development and Small and Medium Industries will implement the project in four regions in central Senegal namely Kaolack, Kaffrine, Fatick, and Diourbel to help increase agricultural exports and boost food security in rural areas.
"The Bank is a key partner of Senegal in the implementation of five integrated competitive agropoles planned under the Senegal Emerging Plan, through a public-private partnership,” said Marie-Laure Akin Olugbade, the Bank's director general for West Africa. “After the approval of the southern agropoles in 2019, we are now financing the one in the country's Centre region, which covers an important agricultural basin," she added.
Atsuko Toda, director, rural infrastructure and agricultural finance department, remarked, "The project benefits from the lessons learned from this type of agro-industrial project, financed through a public-private partnership through the experience accumulated in Côte d'Ivoire, Ethiopia, Nigeria, Togo and Senegal in particular, which gives it a comparative advantage.”
The Agropole-Centre project entails the establishment of an agro-industrial value chain development fund (particularly for groundnuts, cereals, and salt) for producers and small businesses. The fund will be gender-sensitive and focus on upstream and downstream activities to increase the financial inclusion of value chain actors. It will also develop a central module covering an area of 80 hectares to serve as a hub that meets international standards, packaging and storage of agricultural products, and energy production.
Agricultural producers will benefit from essential seeds, good access to knowledge, financial as well as non-financial resources and efficient and climate-resilient technologies such as solar-powered water-saving equipment, soil protection, and restoration techniques.
Moreover, the project will stimulate US$67.5mn in private investment through 37 projects in key agro-industrial sectors (groundnuts, cereals, salt, animal products, etc.), generating at least US$23.08mn in tax revenue for the government. It will also create 129,500 direct and 208,800 indirect jobs (about 52% for women). At the end of the project's first phase (2023-2027), the following results will be expected: processing at least 400,000 tons of peanuts, 100,000 tons of cereals, and 50,000 tons of salt.
It will help reduce unemployment and under-employment and strengthen rural populations' food and nutritional security. At least 1.2 mn people will benefit indirectly from the project, which is expected to increase annual incomes by about 30%.