By Dipo Olowookere
A funding package worth $5.4 million has been provided to support fertilizer value chains in Nigeria and Tanzania, potentially benefitting hundreds of thousands of smallholder farmers.
This came from the partnership signed between the African Development Bank (AfDB) and the African Fertilizer and Agribusiness Partnership. The grants are designed by the AfDB’s Africa Fertilizer Financing Mechanism (AFFM), with the deal sealed at the African Green Revolution Forum in Accra, Ghana on September 5, 2019.
The two deals are the first agreements signed by AFFM, which is hosted by the African Development Bank, since it was became fully functional last year; they pave the way for the first implementation of trade credit guarantee projects for fertilizer financing led by AFFM in Nigeria and Tanzania.
The African Fertilizer and Agribusiness Partnership will be the implementing partner operating in the two countries on behalf of the Africa Fertilizer Financing Mechanism. The Partnership has substantial experience in supporting the agricultural value chain across the continent.
Scheduled for implementation over a two-year period, the projects will lead to the enhancement of fertilizer value chains in the two countries and will target 10 importers, 5 blenders/manufacturers, and 37 hub agro-dealers as direct beneficiaries, 520 retail agro-dealers as indirect beneficiaries and 700,000 smallholder farmers as final beneficiaries.
By supporting the fertilizer value chain in the two countries, the projects will go a long way to making fertilizer available to more farmers, a key objective of the Bank’s Feed Africa Strategy.
According to the Vice President for Agriculture, Human and Social Development at AfDB, Dr. Jennifer Blanke, the agreements would provide the inputs needed for Africa to have “the productivity that we hope for.”
“We are just thrilled to be getting together with our partners in order to expand the efforts to make sure that we are financing the development of manufacturing and blending of fertilizer,” Blanke said. “This is an African effort, led by Africans, for Africa,” she added.
African Fertilizer and Agribusiness Partnership CEO Jason Scarpone signed the agreements on behalf of the continental body, emphasizing the importance of value chain financing – bringing fertilizer financing from manufacturer, to distributor, to retailer to farmer. “Few succeed in doing it. This project will be successful,” Scarpone told reporters.
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