NAIROBI, Kenya, Sep 8 – African governments, business leaders and development partners have pledged more than Sh3 trillion in investments in the agricultural sector over next 10 years.
The commitments are aimed at increasing production, income and employment for smallholder farmers in the continent.
Alliance for A Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) President Agnes Kalibata says this is the moment of action, rather than talk, urging African entrepreneurs, farmers and governments to take advantage of the opportunities provided for in these commitments.
“We have talked enough we need to go down and do what we need to do, we need to implement the many talks and pledges we have agreed on in the last 10 years, “she stated.
Among the commitments include Sh2.4 trillion from the Africa Development Bank (AfDB) to help drive agricultural transformation in Africa in the next ten years.
The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation pledged Sh500 billion over the next five years while the Rockefeller Foundation pledged Sh18 billion.
“Food loss and waste across the value chain threatens farmers’ livelihoods and costs the global economy more than the combined 2015 profits of the fortune 500. In Sub Saharan Africa 40 to 50 percent of certain staple are lost post-harvest,” stated Judtih Rodin President of the Rockefeller Foundation.
KCB Group pledged Sh35 billion to finance agriculture business opportunities that could reach two million shareholders farmers, which is 5 percent of the bank’s overall lending portfolio.
The World Food Programme also committed to purchasing Sh12 billion worth of agricultural products each year form small holder farmers which is 10 percent of the programmes procurement budget.
More commitments came from the International Fund for Agricultural Development, (Sh300 billion) and Sh15billion by OCP Africa that will focus in building fertiliser plants in sub- Saharan Africa.
“We are in discussions with five countries in the sub-Saharan Africa. This is expected to increase access to fertilizer s for Africa smallholder farmers,” said OCP Group CEO Tark Chocho.
On Wednesday, President Uhuru Kenyatta pledged Sh20 billion in the agricultural sector in the next five years to improve the interests of farmers in the country.
President Kenyatta said the move is intended to facilitate more than 150,000 farmers with access to markets, finance and insurance for machinery among others.