The African Development Bank (AfDB) is seeking capital from Brazil, Argentina, China and India to invest across the continent’s agriculture sector, Chiji Ojukwu, director of bank’s Agriculture and Agro-Industry Department said in an interview posted on the bank’s website.
The development bank is looking for commitments from other development agencies and multilateral development banks and international financial institutions.
“The quantum of funds required to move the sector forward in Africa is enormous,” he said.
The bank is already mobilising additional resources through partnership with the Global Agriculture and Food Security Program (GASFP), Climate Investment Fund, African Development Fund (ADF) and the Nigeria Trust Fund (NTF). The bank has employed the new Chinese Fund (AGTF) to co-finance its AfDB lending in the agriculture sector.
From 2010 to 2014 the bank’s operations have met or exceeded 75 percent of its targets in two major areas – promoting agriculture infrastructure development and increasing resilience and natural resource management.
Going forward, “for the bank to contribute to unlock the potential of agriculture for sustained and inclusive growth in Africa, there is need for multi-sector investments in agriculture using an integrated value chain approach”, he said. Greater attention to both horizontal and vertical integration in all relevant value chains is necessary, he added.
According to Ojukwu, AfDB’s new agricultural strategy for year 2015 to 2019 will continue to focus on investments in agricultural infrastructure, resilience building and natural resources management. On top of that, a new focus on agribusiness and innovation will be brought to the table.
From 1968 to 2014, AfDB approved a total of 876 operations with commitments valued at approximately $14.78 billion that provided support to agriculture and rural development. About 1.5 million people had access to improved technology and around 600 production and marketing facilities were constructed during the time period, according to AfDB’s website.