During the African Development Bank Annual Meeting that held recently in Busan, Korea, an agreement that will boost local supply and utilization of fertilizer by smallholder farmers in Africa was sealed between Fund for African Private Sector Assistance (FAPA) donors and the African Fertilizer and Agribusiness Partnership (AFAP).

The agreement was signed by Jennifer Blanke, the African Development Bank’s Vice-President for Agriculture, Human and Social Development, and Jason Scarpone, CEO of the African Fertilizer and Agribusiness Partnership.

Following the development, increase in terms of affordability, accessibility and incentives for fertilizer use among smallholder farmers in Africa as well as the expansion of supply and distribution of fertilizer by leveraging investments is in view.

Speaking about the project Ms. Blanke said “This project is very much in line with the Feed Africa strategy of the African Development Bank. It will promote greater local supply of fertilizer to farmers thereby increasing productivity, which is central to the transformation of value chains.”

This project will also amount to creation of over 1,000 jobs for women and youth.

This initiative complements the Bank’s strategy for transforming agriculture value chains in Regional Member Countries and strengthening private enterprises. It also helps improve access to finance for blending companies and joint ventures in the agriculture sector. It will enhance distribution through agriculture input systems with agro-dealer networks in the targeted countries: Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Nigeria, Mozambique and Tanzania.

According to Soichiro Imaeda, Parliamentary Vice Minister for Finance in Japan, one of donors to FAPA, he said “Agriculture is one of the five priority areas of the Bank. In Sub-Saharan Africa, 60% of the population lives in rural areas, while the proportion of agriculture in GDP is less than 20%.”

During the signatory ceremony, Olivier Eweck, Director of the Syndication, Co-financing and Technical Solutions Department at the Bank, and Chair of the FAPA Technical Committee, said “Improving agricultural productivity is an urgent issue in achieving sustainable economic growth in Africa. We hope that this project will be effectively utilized and that farmers’ access to fertilizer will expand and agricultural productivity will increase in the five target African countries including Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Mozambique, Nigeria and Tanzania.”

“Today’s grant agreement is not just about improving the productivity of smallholder farmers in Africa; it also encourages local supply and utilization of fertilizer in Africa. We’ll continue, through FAPA, to support agriculture finance projects in Africa,” he adds.