The European Investment Bank has taken a significant step towards promoting sustainable agriculture in West Africa by pledging a total of $27.8 million towards the cause.
The Bank has entered into a Memorandum of Understanding with Compagnie Financière Africaine, an African finance institution, to enhance sustainable agricultural practices and value chains in the region.
Under the agreement, the EIB will allocate $17.1 million to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), women-led initiatives, and entrepreneurs engaged in sustainable agriculture projects in Ivory Coast. Meanwhile, $10.7 million will be directed towards developments in Senegal through COFINA.
These funds will be instrumental in accelerating progress and driving positive change in the agricultural sectors of both countries.
Sié Amed Touré, Managing Director of COFINA in the Ivory Coast, expressed his optimism about the partnership, stating, “We will be able to reach rural populations through cooperatives and associations.
We aim to provide solutions that will enable them to automate their production chain all the way up to the crop processing stage and make them local champions.” This funding will empower local communities and enable them to become leaders in sustainable agriculture.
One of the primary objectives of this initiative is to generate employment opportunities and encourage economic growth in the region. Additionally, it seeks to address the challenges faced by the agricultural sector due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the Russia-Ukraine conflict, which have disrupted supply chains. By combining financial assistance with technical support, the EIB aims to promote the adoption of eco-friendly farming methods and strengthen food security.
The focus of the funding will be to support women-led businesses, with an emphasis on increasing productivity in irrigation, mechanization, and storage. The EIB recognizes the vital role that women play in agriculture and aims to empower them by providing them with the necessary resources and support to thrive in their agricultural endeavors.
The impact of this funding is expected to be far-reaching, with up to 6,000 jobs projected to be supported across various value chains, such as cocoa, cashew, food crops, cereals, and horticulture. This injection of funds will not only enhance the agricultural sector but also uplift local communities and contribute to sustainable development in West Africa.