The Board of Directors of the African Development Bank Group has approved a 121 million-Euro loan to Senegal, a country in West Africa, to implement an emergency agricultural program.
The fund will help 850,000 small farmers, 35 per cent of whom are women, grow a targeted 38 million tons of additional wheat, corn, rice, soybeans and other crops for the next two years worth $12 billion.
The loan is the first approved under the bank’s $1.5-billion African Emergency Food Production Facility to cushion the impacts exacerbated by the war in Ukraine. In May, the Bank Group’s Board of Directors approved the fund, which will provide agricultural seeds to 20 million farmers in the country.
Mohamed Chérif, the Bank’s Country Manager for Senegal, said, “Senegal’s dependence on the outside world for basic commodities and food items is a real bottleneck and poses a threat to Senegal’s food sovereignty.”
How will the fund help Senegal?
With the help of this fund, Senegal will be able to mitigate financial, economic, social and climate problems caused by external factors. According to the Bank Manager, the fund will also help to maintain the upward trend in cereal production seen in recent years in the country.
The emergency agricultural program has three components: improving access to certified seeds and fertilizers, providing advisory support to small-scale farmers, and improving governance and implementation of public policies in the agricultural sector in Senegal.
The Emergency Food Production Program will provide 7000 tonnes of cereal seeds, 3000 tonnes of cowpea seeds and 15,000 tonnes of seed potatoes to small-scale farmers, including women.
A partnership agreement between the Senegalese Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Equipment and the Senegalese Institute of Agricultural Research has also been established to help farmers with a supply of pre-basic seeds.
Under the second component of the project, it will provide 118,000 additional tonnes of fertilizer in 2022 and 2023. The third component will entail an assessment and preparation of a national index insurance program.