BRAZZAVILLE, September 20, 2017 –The Republic of Congo and the World Bank Group signed today in Brazzaville a financing agreement for the implementation of the Commercial Agriculture Development Support Project (PDAC), which was approved by the World Bank on July 13, 2017.
The funding of $100 million will help improve farmers’ productivity and enhance market access for producer groups and for micro, small and medium agro-industrial businesses in the Republic of Congo. The Project will run from 2017 to 2022, and is expected to benefit some 500,000 people.
“This project is important because it will greatly contribute to the Congolese Government’s economic diversification program by developing commercial agriculture. It will help create jobs, improve food and nutritional security, decrease imports, increase exports and reduce poverty,” said Ahmadou Moustapha Ndiaye, World Bank Country Director for the Republic of Congo.
The Project follows in the wake of the successful implementation of the Rural Roads Development and Rehabilitation Project (PDARP) by the Congolese Government and the World Bank from 2008 to 2017. “This funding is being provided at a time of economic and financial challenges for Congo, and should help the state increase support for its agricultural sector, which, despite being declared a priority, lacks sufficient public investment,” said Amadou Oumar Ba, Senior Agricultural Specialist and PDAC Task Team Leader at the World Bank Group.
The Project will consist of four components: (i) Direct support for groups of farmers and for micro, small and medium enterprises; (ii) Improvement of public infrastructure and the business climate for commercial agriculture; (iii) Institutional capacity strengthening to support the development of commercial agriculture; and (iv) Response in the event of an emergency or disaster. The project will help make locally produced agricultural products more competitive by (i) reducing transaction costs and enhancing connectivity between peri-urban/rural areas and the growing urban markets; (ii) promoting a business climate and public-private dialogue; and (iii) strengthening the capacity of institutions that support the development of commercial agriculture.
The PDAC is aligned with national and regional priorities for agricultural development. It is consistent with the national agricultural strategy of the Republic of Congo and the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Program (CAADP) set forth in the National Plan for Agricultural Investment and Food and Nutritional Security (PNIASAN), adopted in 2015. It is also closely aligned with the Regional Food Security Program for Central Africa (PRSA-AC), and the Regional Agricultural Investment and Food Security Program (PRIASAN) of the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS), as well as with its common agricultural policy.
The signing of the financing agreement serves to strengthen the partnership and the mutual commitment of the Government of the Republic of Congo and the World Bank Group to the elimination of extreme poverty and the promotion of a more equitable distribution of wealth in the Republic of Congo.