WASHINGTON, Dec. 7, 2021 – The Global Agriculture and Food Security Program (GAFSP), a global fund dedicated to reducing food insecurity and poverty in low-income countries, today announced $121 million in new grants for nine national governments and, for the first time, an additional $30 million for producer organizations based in 12 countries worldwide. This funding aims to strengthen sustainable, inclusive, and resilient food systems in the world’s poorest countries, in response to rising food insecurity linked to COVID-19 and climate change.
For over a decade, GAFSP has supported locally-led, inclusive projects across the entire agriculture value chain – from ‘farm to fork’. For the first time in its history, GAFSP is now providing small-scale grants directly to producer organizations to help meet the demand for financing for smallholder farmers and their organizations. Farmers, through civil society and farmers’ organizations representatives, have always had a seat at the table in GAFSP’s decision-making process and are now designing, implementing, and leading on solutions that address their needs as key stakeholders in building sustainable food systems.
“Over the past two years, producer organizations have influenced COVID-19 responses plans adopted by policymakers. The opportunity to directly fund these organizations helps increase their agency in revising food and related policies,” said Ibrahima Coulibaly, President of the Network of Farmers’ Organizations and Smallholder Farmers in West Africa (ROPPA), “As smallholder farmers, we believe that such critical initiatives will certainly increase the efficiency of COVID-19 response plans, as well as move us closer to a world with Zero Hunger.”
The open Call for Proposals attracted approximately US$1 billion in funding requests – ten times what GAFSP can fund with current resources – and signals the high demand for investment in agriculture in the world’s poorest countries.
The new country grants – to Bangladesh, Bhutan, Kyrgyz Republic, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Nepal, Senegal, South Sudan, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu – will help countries achieve their national development priorities, such as improving farmers’ incomes and enhancing climate resilience, while strengthening private sector engagement. The new producer organization grants – in Bangladesh, Burundi, Cambodia, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Haiti, Honduras, Maldives, Nicaragua, Niger, Senegal, Tanzania, and Uganda – will help strengthen the institutional capacities of these organizations as key economic players in the value chain, including through better access to finance, markets, and innovative solutions for their farmers. In addition, the Steering Committee approved four country projects totaling $71 million in Cambodia, Honduras, Mauritania, and Somalia contingent on additional donor contributions to the fund.
“Investing in resilient, sustainable agriculture and food systems is key to ending hunger and improving food and nutrition security for all in a changing climate. This unprecedented demand for agricultural funding in response to the latest GAFSP Call for Proposals is a clear signal to the international community that we must all step up and put more resources where they can be most impactful,” said Dirk Schattschneider, Assistant Director-General, Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), Germany.
This is the sixth call for agricultural investments in countries eligible for development assistance from the International Development Association (IDA) – the part of the World Bank that helps the world’s poorest countries. Proposals were selected based on recommendations of an independent review conducted by global agriculture experts, and then selected through a competitive process by the fund’s Steering Committee, composed of donors, recipient countries, civil society organizations, and multilateral development agencies, including the World Bank.
“Our farmers need finance to lift themselves out of poverty but accessing formal sources of finance is difficult for farmers. GAFSP’s innovative approach of providing finance to farmers’ organizations directly makes it possible for us to make the investments we need to uplift our community,” said Beauty Khatun, member of the Sara Bangla Krishak Society (national network of farmers’ organizations) in Bangladesh.
Launched by the G20 in response to the 2007-08 food price crisis, GAFSP is a multilateral financing instrument dedicated to fighting hunger, malnutrition, and poverty through increased investment in agriculture in the world’s poorest countries. GAFSP supports resilient and sustainable agriculture that benefits smallholder farmers and their families by channeling financing through leading development agencies, including the World Bank. Since its inception, GAFSP has received US$1.9 billion in contributions from Australia, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Canada, Germany, Ireland, Japan, the Netherlands, Norway, South Korea, Spain, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Funds support countries, producer organizations, and agribusinesses in their medium- to long-term efforts to improve the livelihoods, food security, and resilience of smallholder farmers.