IFC, BMZ partner to strengthen supply chains for smallholder farmers in Africa

AdobeStock 430291065IFC and the German Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) has  launched a new programme that will leverage greater private sector investments to support the food production value chain across Africa and increase access to finance for rural farmers and businesses

The US$25mn Food Systems Development Programme, focuses on giving food producers, ranging from smallholder farmers to small and medium-sized agri-businesses in Africa, greater opportunities to improve their incomes. IFC’s technical assistance will strengthen agricultural value chains from farm to market. 

Supply chain disruptions caused by the COVID-19 crisis have highlighted weaknesses in the food supply system and created an opportunity to explore technology-based solutions that will make the sector more efficient, adaptive, and resilient. Meanwhile, global demand for food will grow by 50% by 2030 due to population growth and dietary shifts. This could exacerbate food insecurity for some countries if no action is taken. African countries, in particular, are at high risk of facing severe food insecurity by 2030. 

“The battle against hunger can only be won by joining forces to leverage expertise and learn mutually from experience. BMZ and IFC coming together to build stronger supply chains for African famers is an example of that theory in action,” said Sérgio Pimenta, vice-president for the Middle East and Africa at IFC. “This programme is designed to leverage IFC’s relationships with commercial agribusinesses and financial institutions to bring a comprehensive solution for entire value-chains, from farm to the fork. The impact could not come at a better time.”

Together with BMZ, IFC will support the expansion of technical and business management capacity for smallholder farmers, farmer organisations, and rural SMEs in communities. The program will also support the digitisation of transactions and payments, helping to expand access to a broad range of financial services. 

The agriculture sector is up against major challenges: Resource scarcity and climate change, complex value chains, and lack of suitable infrastructure, trade barriers and limited access to finance and inputs. There are tremendous opportunities for the private sector to address these challenges for more sustainable and inclusive food production.

IFC will bring a combination of private and blended finance solutions as well as advisory services to support the programme. The programme complements IFC’s existing partnership with BMZ, Norway and the Netherlands to support the G-20 Compact with Africa.

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