African Development Bank to lend $117 million to support agricultural transformation

The financial support comes from the African Development Fund, the Bank Group's concessional lending window, and includes $78.6 million from the Transition Support Facility

0
1040

Meeting in Abidjan on 14 February 2024, the Board of Directors of the African Development Bank Group approved a loan of $117.9 million to the Democratic Republic of Congo to implement the Project to Support Governance and Skills Development in support of the Agriculture Transformation Programme (PTA).

The financial support comes from the African Development Fund, the Bank Group’s concessional lending window, and includes $78.6 million from the Transition Support Facility – a financing instrument of the Bank aimed at countries in fragile and conflict situations.

“This project is to support agricultural transformation in the Democratic Republic of Congo through the improvement of sectoral governance and the quality of labour and by promoting entrepreneurship in agricultural value chains to support the agricultural transformation programme,” explained African Development Bank Director-General for Central Africa, Serge N’Guessan. He added that, “The project will promote the private sector and encourage foreign direct investment and the creation of decent jobs in the agricultural sector, whose contribution to the economy remains low despite its considerable potential”.

The project will make it possible to carry out a feasibility study on establishing a one-stop shop for issuing permits and licenses for climate-smart agricultural investments in the National Investment Promotion Agency, to support the development of a “Made in DRC” label, and to set up a digital platform to structure and organize actors in the target sectors through agricultural inter-professional organizations.

In addition, 500 trainers will be trained in entrepreneurship, improved techniques for the production and processing of agricultural products, and conflict management in the agriculture and agribusiness sectors. And two community centres will be built to develop innovative trades in support of agricultural transformation, including one specializing in sustainable, climate-smart agriculture. Four youth agribusiness entrepreneurship promotion centres will also be built.

Given the location of growth poles, the project will focus primarily on ten decentralized territorial entities (ETD) in five provinces: Kongo Central, Kasaï Oriental, Tshopo, Nord-Ubangi and Sud-Ubangi.

The project’s direct beneficiaries are the 25,000 young people (of which 50% are young women) and 500 trainers (of which 50% are women) targeted in the ten ETDs for developing skills, agribusiness and capacity building and to pilot the establishment of agricultural cadastres.