16 May 2023
New signing will help small holdings.
SMALL-SCALE potato farmers on the African continent will largely benefit from a recently-signed agreement signed by The European Investment Bank (EIB) and the UN’s International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD).
Aimed at helping low and middle-income countries worldwide, with a particular focus on Africa, the agreement signed by EIB Vice-president Ambroise Fayolle and IFAD President Alvario Lario, is for a total of €350 million.
It is the second finance contract under the Framework agreement for the €500 million package announced in November 2022 which will help small-scale growers adapt to climate change and cope with the ongoing global food crisis linked to high food, fertiliser, and fuel prices.
In addition to improving food security, the deal aims to strengthen growers' resilience to climate change and preserve natural resources.
The initial tranche of €150 million was disbursed in March 2023.
The latest agreement between the EIB and IFAD will facilitate project implementation and procure monitoring for jointly-financed public sector projects in shared countries of operation.
President of IFAD Alvaro Lario said: “By joining forces, we can eradicate hunger and poverty, and support millions of small-scale farmers be more resilient to climate change. The partnership with the EIB will make a difference in the lives of millions of rural people and small-scale producers who are on the frontline of the global climate and economic crisis and remain essential to global food security by producing one third of the world’s food.
Vice President of the EIB, Ambroise Fayolle, added: “The EIB-IFAD strengthened partnership will allow both organisations to further increase the support to low- and middle-income countries outside Europe, with a specific focus on Africa. By sharing synergies and best practices, our organisations aim to improve food security and support small farmers around the globe in their efforts to adapt to the consequences of climate change and turn agriculture into a more resilient and sustainable business.”
Potatoes are grown under a wide range of conditions on the continent - from irrigated commercial farms in Egypt and South Africa to the tropical highland zones of Eastern and Central Africa, where it is mainly a small farmer's crop.