Joseph Inokotong, Abuja
The African Development Bank (AfDB), African Fertiliser and Agribusiness Partnership (AFAP) have signed two grant agreements to implement trade credit guarantees worth $5.4 million to support fertiliser value chains in Nigeria and Tanzania.
The deal has enormous potential of benefitting many smallholder farmers in both countries that have been yearning for such opportunity to enhance their yields. The organisations held a signing ceremony at the just concluded African Green Revolution Forum in Accra, Ghana.
The AfDB said the projects, scheduled for implementation over a two-year period, will lead to the enhancement of fertiliser value chains in the two countries and will target 10 importers, five 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. It pointed out that by supporting the fertiliser value chain in the two countries, the projects will go a long way to making fertiliser available to more farmers, a key objective of the bank’s Feed Africa Strategy.
The AfDB Vice President for Agriculture, Human and Social Development, Dr. Jennifer Blanke, said the agreements would provide the inputs needed for Africa to have “the productivity that we hope for.”
She said, “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 fertiliser,” adding that “this is an African effort, led by Africans, for Africa.”
The AfDB said the grants are designed by the bank’s Africa Fertiliser Financing Mechanism (AFFM) to provide sustainable financing solutions to boost the fertiliser value chain in Africa.
Mr. Jason Scarpone, AFAP CEO, who signed the agreements on behalf of the continental body emphasised the importance of value chain financing – bringing fertiliser financing from manufacturer, to distributor, to retailer to farmer.
Scarpone stated that, “few succeed in doing it,” and “this project will be successful.”
According to AfDB, the two deals are the first agreements signed by AFFM, which is hosted by the bank since it became fully functional last year, and they pave the way for the first implementation of trade credit guarantee projects for fertiliser financing led by AFFM in Nigeria and Tanzania.
It explained that the AFAP will be the implementing partner operating in the two countries on behalf of AFFM, noting that the partnership has substantial experience in supporting the agricultural value chain across the continent.
AFFM Coordinator, Marie Claire Kalihangabo, said at the signing ceremony: “We have expected results that are realistic. We are here to make sure this happens.”