Next Call for Concept Notes

Online application portal opens on 1 March 2016

The next Call for Concept Notes will be opened on 1 March 2016 to 10 countries - Benin, Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, Ethiopia, Ghana, Malawi, Mozambique, Nigeria, Senegal and Tanzania. Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in the agriculture sector, government agencies preparing agriculture infrastructure projects, nongovernmental and civil society organizations such as farmer organizations and agriculture Fund Managers with clients seeking last mile financing or advisory services to formulate bankable agricultural development proposals are welcome to apply.

AfDB marks World Food Day

The African Development Bank (AfDB) joined the rest of the global community in marking the World Food Day. At the Bank the event was marked by the Agriculture and Agro-Industry Department (OSAN) on 16 October 2015. The aim of the event was to sensitize the department and the bank at large on the causes and implications of hunger, and the role that different actors can play to address this. This year’s global theme is Social Protection and Agriculture: Breaking the Cycle of Rural Poverty. On the panel to enrich the discussion was the Ethiopian ambassador to Cote d’Ivoire, Her Excellency Yeshimebrat Mersha, OSAN Director Chiji Ojukwu, Senior Advisor to the AfDB Operations Sector Vice President (OSVP), Jallow Sering, AfDB’s Executive Director for Nordic countries and India, Heikki Tuunanen, and the Ag. Director of the Human Development Department, Sunita Pitamber.

AFT is recruiting a Long-term Consultant - Operations Expert

Introduction: The African Development Bank Group’s Agriculture and Agro-Industry Department (OSAN), is responsible for the operations and investments in Agriculture and Natural Resources Management, incorporating environmental concerns, as well as promoting development of agro-industries to increase productivity and competitiveness. In May 2013, OSAN established a new Agriculture Fast Track Fund (AFT) supported by a Multi-Donor Trust Fund and managed by the AFT Coordinating Unit (CU) within OSAN. The mission of the AFT is to increase the number of investment‐ready infrastructure projects and Public Private Partnerships (PPPs) by defraying front‐end project development costs and risks that commercial developers or Development Finance Institutions (DFIs) are unable to shoulder alone. During its first phase, the AFT is considering investment projects in the six New Alliance countries (Burkina Faso, Cote d’Ivoire, Ethiopia, Ghana, Mozambique, and Tanzania). The AFT may be extended to other Regional Member Countries (RMCs) in the future. The intention is to establish a demand driven, efficient Fund that will ‘fast track’ promising agricultural ideas and businesses into bankable investments. AFT provides grants to investors to underwrite the costs of technical assistance necessary for projects to become bankable. Funded activities include (but not limited to): scoping assessments, feasibility studies, market analyses, community consultations, environmental and social impact assessments and other project development activities.

Agribusiness begins to boom in Africa

The world's population is constantly growing, and with it the interest of investors in Africa's arable land. The continent has vast untapped potential - but can local producers compete with foreign companies?

The wind whistling through Berlin on Monday (19 January 2015) was icy. Three Italian tourists carefully navigated the frozen puddles on the sidewalk as they scurried to the Brandenburg Gate, ignoring the black limousines gliding past them in front of the exclusive Adlon Hotel.

Rural women are pillars of family farming - FAO Representative

Rural women are the backbone of family farming as they account for about half of the agricultural labour force in developing countries. In spite of that, a large contribution of women’s works in family farms is not recognized in terms of income earned and access to productive resources and assets.

From Ghana Web:

Greater investments in agriculture needed for food security

The Chairperson of the African Union Commission, Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, has called for greater investments in agriculture by African countries to guarantee their ability to feed about two billion people in Africa by 2050.

Dr. Zuma said it was time for Africa to transform from a continent reliant on food imports to one that could feed itself and ultimately export a surplus to help feed a growing world population.

Realising West Africa’s true agricultural potential

Despite positive economic growth rates experienced by almost all West African economies since 2005, they have not undergone the structural transformation needed to improve the quality of life of their people, as they are lacking diversification and depend on the exports of a few products.

The agriculture sector is central to achieving food security and broad-based economic growth, representing approximately 35% of the region’s GDP and 60% of the active labour force. Agricultural exports generate around USD 6 billion [annually?], or 16.3% of all products and services exported from the sub-region. Nevertheless, the sector remains constrained by low productivity and major environmental challenges. A 25% decline in rainfall over the last 50 years has had serious consequences for dryland areas. Per-hectare yields for most crops are among the lowest in the world, only increasing by an average of 42% between 1980 and 2005, and accounting for just 30% of the increase in agricultural and food production.

Africa urged to scale up investments in agriculture

African governments must scale up investments in the agriculture sector to enhance productivity and sustain food security on the continent.

Rhoda Peace Tumusiime, the Africa Union commissioner for rural economy and agriculture, said the initiative must be done in a more inclusive and sustainable manner. Tumusiime was addressing the second African Union Private Sector and Agribusiness Forum in Kigali, yesterday. The two-day annual conference drew more than 100 agronomists, policy makers, business leaders, farmers and development partners from across Africa and is expected to lay a concrete foundation for the transformation of agriculture across the content.

"When it comes to innovation, Africans must believe in their own knowledge."

Africans should believe in their own knowledge. This was the advice of researcher Hilary Nwokeabia at the 9th edition of the African Economic Conference on Sunday, November 2 in Addis Ababa.

A presenter on the theme "Knowledge generation for structural transformation," Nwokeabia said, "Knowledge plays an important role in vital areas as food security, local agriculture, construction, entertainment and medical treatment for up to 80% of Africa's economy." Nevertheless, activities related to realization/implementation of local agriculture, food security, construction, entertainment and medical treatment have been misunderstood for various reasons. "Africans have to believe in their own knowledge," he said.

Lima: Climate Change and Agriculture

Climate change threatens to undermine agriculture which is one of the most important sectors in many developing countries.

In many parts of Africa, agriculture employs 80 per cent of the population and food security is a major concern. In addition, population increases, especially in Africa, means that by 2050, 70 per cent more food will have to be produced to feed a growing population. As climate change cause temperatures to increase and precipitation patterns to change, more weather extremes will potentially reduce global food productions. The need to reduce the environmental impact of agriculture while, at the same time, increasing productivity requires significant changes in the way agriculture is currently carried out.

Forum calls for key roles for women in agricultural R&D

African governments must place rural women farmers at the apex of agricultural research and scientific innovation to achieve sustainable development and economic growth, a conference has heard.

Experts at the Sharefair for Rural Women’s Technologies held in Nairobi, Kenya, last month (15-17 October) expressed concern that women remain marginalised in the promotion of technologies and innovations that support smallholder farming in eastern and southern Africa.

G20 Summit can boost agriculture in Africa

On the 10th anniversary of the adoption of the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP), the African Union (AU) decided to declare 2014 as the 'Year of Agriculture and Food Security in Africa'.

There is much to celebrate: agricultural production in Africa has risen steadily over the last 30 years and its value has almost tripled, showing an increase that exceeds the growth rate for global agricultural production over the same period - almost identical to that of South America and below but comparable to growth in Asia, based on statistics from the New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD). More than 530 million Africans depend fully or partially on agriculture for their livelihood.

AfDB urges stronger emphasis on infrastructure by regional governments

Africa invests only 4% of its collective GDP in infrastructure, compared to China’s 14%.

Speaking at the 9th African Development Forum (ADF) in Marrakech, African Development Bank Group (AfDB) Operations Vice-President in charge of Agriculture, Human Development and Governance, Aly Abou-Sabaa, said that many countries in the region were hungry for infrastructure investments, and now was the best time for African governments and their development partners to focus on fast-tracking resources.

Ghana to host 2nd international Agrofood Fair

All is set for the second edition of Agrofood and Plastprintpack West Africa slated for the Accra International Conference Centre from December 2 to 4, 2014.

Exhibitors from 11 countries will present their latest innovations to highly professional visitors, who can also attend a seminar on packaging and food safety facilitated by the German Technical Cooperation (GTZ).

Women in African agriculture: Farmers, mothers, innovators and educators

Overcoming droughts in agricultural cycles

The droughts in the US and Russia and their impact on harvests have dominated the news in the last few weeks. And with the latest USDA announcement that the US maize crop would be the smallest in six years and the soybean crop the smallest in nine years, there is media speculation about the future impact on global food prices. The food price spikes of 2007/08 and 2010 have shown us that national and regional risks can have global implications. But for smallholder farmers in Africa - at least half of whom are women - droughts are but one of the many hurdles that they may need to overcome in the course of each agricultural cycle.

Ethiopia: AFT awards grant to catalyze local competitiveness

The AfDB Resident Representative in Ethiopia Mrs Josephine Ngure and Mr Khalid Duri, African Bamboo Managing Director have signed the 19th March 2013 a grant agreement to finance the preparatory studies for an Integrated Supply Chain for Bamboo Based Floor Board Business.

March 19, 2014. Addis Ababa: The African Development Bank (AfDB) today signed a grant agreement with African Bamboo PLC, an Ethiopian agri-business enterprise working on the Development of an Integrated Supply Chain for Bamboo Based products. The Grant will be used to prepare feasibility studies and market analyses to attract investment capital and also to meet requirements for exports to the United States and the European Union.

FENACOVICI signs Grant Agreement with the AFT

The Fédération Nationale des Coopératives de Vivriers de Côte d'Ivoire, an nation-wide food producers association, has signed a grant agreement with the AFT to support preparation activities ahead of its planned investment of nearly US$ 11 million.

Abidjan, November 29, 2013: The Fédération Nationale des Coopératives de Vivriers de Côte d'Ivoire (FENASCOVICI – the National Federation of Food Production Cooperatives of the Cote d’Ivoire) signed its grant agreement with the AFT for a US$551,990 grant to support preparation of its proposed US$10,818,817 investment. The investment will:

AFT awards new Grants

Agriculture Fast Track Fund formally approves the award of two grants. AFT grants cover project preparation costs for public and private sponsors of proposed agriculture infrastructure projects.

Friday October 11, 2013: Tunis, Tunisia - The Agriculture Fast Track Fund (AFT) has selected two companies to receive grant funding that will cover project preparation costs in the coming months: Tanzania-based Darsh Industries and the Fédération Nationale des Coopératives de Vivriers de Côte d’Ivoire (FENASCOVICI). The AFT, a multi-donor trust fund housed in the African Development Bank, supports the preparation of high-value agriculture infrastructure projects.

Denmark contributes US$1.8miillion to Agriculture Fast Track Fund

The Government of Denmark will contribute $1.8 million to the Agriculture Fast Track (AFT), complementing the $25 million pledged by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Government of Sweden.

TUNIS, Tunisia, September 3, 2013: The Government of Denmark has announced a contribution DKK 10 million (approximately US $1.8 million) to the Agriculture Fast Track Fund to Spur Investment in the development of African agriculture infrastructure.

Call for Proposals now closed

The Call for Proposals for grants from the Agriculture Fast Track Fund (AFT) is now closed. The next call for proposal will be announced on this website

AfDB, USAID, and Government of Sweden launch Agriculture Fast Track Fund

The Agriculture Fast Track fund has been announced at the Grow Africa Investment Forum in Cape Town, South Africa. The fund is intended to spur investment in agriculture infrastructure, and the launch event was attended by top officials from USAID, SIDA, and the African Development Bank.

Donald Kaberuka, the President of the African Development Bank (AfDB); Rajiv Shah, the Administrator of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), and Gunilla Carlsson, the Swedish Minister for International Development Cooperation, have announced the creation of an Agriculture Fast Track Fund for Africa. The three announced the creation of the US$ 25 million fund, designed to stimulate greater private investment in agricultural infrastructure in Sub-Saharan Africa, at the Grow Africa Investment Forum in Cape Town on Thursday.