WASHINGTON, June 4, 2021—The World Bank today approved significant financing to support the development of the agri-food sector and the creation of thousands of jobs in rural areas is Cote d’Ivoire.
With $250 million in total financing from IDA,* the Agri-Food Sector Development Project aims to remove the major obstacles hindering the growth of the agri-food sector and spur the development of more inclusive, resilient and competitive agri-food value chains. The project will promote real opportunities to forge private partnerships among stakeholders in targeted value chains such as cassava, horticulture, and aquaculture and thus boost investments to improve and modernize the sector’s weakest segments.
The project is therefore expected to help improve the agri-food sector’s business environment and coordination along the value chains by structuring their actors. It also aims to increase access by these value chains not only to modern technologies adapted to the needs of farmers and agricultural entrepreneurs but also to markets, as well as enhance their resilience to climate change.
“Scientists predict that, with urbanization on the rise in Africa, one farmer will have to feed at least two non-agricultural consumers by 2030 and probably more than four by 2050. At the same time, land constraints and climate issues are going to escalate. The World Bank will use this financing to support efforts by the Ivorian authorities to address these major challenges by scaling up investment in agricultural research, marketing, and agro-industrial transformation in order to build a competitive and inclusive agri-food sector,” noted Coralie Gevers, World Bank Country Director for Côte d’Ivoire, Benin, Guinea, and Togo.
Together with the World Bank, the International Finance Corporation (IFC) will play a key role in private sector engagement by improving the business climate and promoting private investment in the agri-food sector in Côte d’Ivoire. IFC’s involvement will also enable the project to support approximately 600,000 smallholder farmers, half of whom will be women, 150 SMEs, and at least 400 microenterprises involved in the production, marketing, and processing of agri-food products.
Lastly, the project will facilitate access to financing for SMEs and smallholder farmers by establishing a matching grant fund instrument and creating, within the SME Partial Credit Guarantee Fund (FGPME), a dedicated window for potential agri-food investors. It will support specific training for women-led producer organizations to promote their inclusion in decision-making, access to financing, and their economic and social empowerment.
* The World Bank’s International Development Association (IDA), established in 1960, helps the world’s poorest countries by providing grants and low to zero-interest loans for projects and programs that boost economic growth, reduce poverty, and improve poor people’s lives. IDA is one of the largest sources of assistance for the world’s 76 poorest countries, 39 of which are in Africa. Resources from IDA bring positive change to the 1.6 billion people who live in IDA countries. Since 1960, IDA has supported development work in 113 countries. Annual commitments have increased steadily and averaged about $21 billion over the last three years, with about 61% going to Africa.