THE African Development Bank today launched 17 new grant projects funded by the Agriculture Fast Track Fund (AFT) in support of agribusiness Small- and Medium-sized Enterprise (SMEs) in ten eligible regional member countries (RMEs) of the Bank:
The countries are Nigeria, Benin, Burkina Faso, Cote d’Ivoire, Ethiopia, Ghana, Malawi, Mozambique, Senegal and Tanzania.
The AFT Fund is managed by the Agriculture and Agro-Industry Department of the African Development Bank.
It supports the development of a strong pipeline of “bankable” agriculture infrastructure projects and assists African agribusiness SMEs in project preparation activities to ease their take-off.
The fund is supported by the governments of the USA (through USAID), Denmark (through DANIDA) and Sweden (through Sida). The Fund finances the project development cost of a broad range of agriculture infrastructure, spanning the entire value chain: from production to the market.
Target projects range from rural feeder roads to irrigation, agro-processing and marketing facilities, and out-grower schemes.
The emphasis is on projects that contribute to the food security, income enhancement, job creation, and livelihood of smallholder farmers.