The Africa Fertilizer Financing Mechanism receives $7.3 million to boost agricultural productivity and smallholder farmers’ income

Funding targets food production and income growth for 800,000 smallholder farmers

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Workers carrying bags of fertilizer at a warehouse in Njombe, Tanzania (Source: African Development Bank Group (AfDB)

Global Affairs Canada has provided $7.3 million in funding to the Africa Fertilizer Financing Mechanism (AFFM) to enhance sustainable agricultural productivity and smallholder farmer livelihoods, particularly women and youth across Africa.

The financing will aid the Mechanism in replicating its credit guarantee programs, enabling fertilizer importers and aggregators to access the product on credit. It will also boost efforts to improve soil health and provide technical assistance to farmers.

Signed on 25 March 2024, the funding agreement between the earmarks CAD$10 million specifically to the Mechanism’s ‘Fostering Africa’s agricultural productivity through fertilizer value chain financing’ (FOSTER) program. Administered by the African Development Bank Group, the Mechanism provides innovative financing to accelerate fertilizer use in Africa and improve agricultural productivity across the Bank’s regional member countries.

“We thank Global Affairs Canada for its support to advance the Africa Fertilizer Financing Mechanism’s implementation of its Strategic Plan 2022-2028, which focuses on broadening access to finance through capital investments and policy reforms, among other priorities that benefit Africa’s smallholder farmers,” said Dr Beth Dunford, the Bank’s Vice President for Agriculture, Human and Social Development.

Fertilizer is essential for food production, yet it is significantly underutilized in sub-Saharan Africa’s agriculture sector due to limited financing and technical know-how among farmers.

The FOSTER program targets 800,000 smallholder farmers, with 40% of beneficiaries expected to be women and 10% youth. It aims to provide access to and improve the utilization of 80,000 tons of organic and inorganic fertilizer, which is expected to increase yields by 30%.

Canada’s Minister of International Development, Ahmed Hussen, said: “Canada is proud to support resilient, climate-smart agriculture and adaptable food production systems in Africa. We remain committed to promoting inclusive, green growth in partnership with the African Development Bank, including through our contribution to the Africa Fertilizer Financing Mechanism.”

Under the FOSTER program, the Mechanism will extend credit guarantee facilities to the inputs supply chain in eight African countries. The program will also facilitate the formulation of fertilizer policies and regulatory frameworks to foster gender-sensitive and sustainable soil management practices.

Marie Claire Kalihangabo, Coordinator of the Mechanism, welcomed Global Affairs Canada as a new member and expressed readiness to collaborate with Canada to fulfill the AFFM’s mandate effectively.”

The FOSTER program aligns with the United Nations’ 2030 Agenda, the Sustainable Development Goals, the African Union’s Agenda 2063 , and the Malabo Declaration. The program also resonates with Canada’s Feminist International Assistance Policy and its efforts towards gender equality and women’s empowerment. It also complements Canada’s “Africa Fertilizer and Soil Health” initiative to boost food security and sustainability.

This initiative seeks to overhaul African agriculture into a productive, competitive, and sustainable sector through national Food and Agriculture Delivery Compacts that were developed at the Dakar 2 Food Summit in January 2023, co-organized by the African Development Bank.

Canada’s funding announcement comes just weeks ahead of the African Union Commission’s Africa Fertilizer and Soil Health Summit scheduled for 7-9 May 2024 in Nairobi.

To learn more about the Africa Fertilizer Financing Mechanism, click here (https://apo-opa.co/3W642uA).

To learn more about Global Affairs Canada, click here (https://apo-opa.co/3UlInNr).