The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and Cote d’Ivoire have today signed a financial agreement aimed at helping rural farmers add value to their products.
A loan of $18.5 million from the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), is set to benefit and help increase incomes and food and nutrition security for over 32,500 households in the rural Bagoué, Poro, Tchologo, Hambol and Gbêkê regions of Côte d’Ivoire.
The financed programme will promote market-oriented agriculture and help farmers add value to their products and stimulate economic growth in the areas, according to a statement released after the financing agreement [for the Agricultural Value Chains Development Programme (PADFA)] was signed in Rome between IFAD President – Gilbert Houngbo and Seydou Cissé, Permanent Representative of the Republic of Côte d’Ivoire to IFAD
The total cost of the programme is US$71.8 million, including a $18.5 million loan from IFAD. The project will be co-financed by the OPEC Fund for International Development ($19 million), the Government of Côte d’Ivoire ($4.2 million), and the beneficiaries themselves ($10.2 million), with $19.9 million to come from other sources.
In Côte d’Ivoire, agricultural development projects have traditionally concentrated on boosting productivity, but insufficient investments have been made in post-harvest activities such as conservation, processing and marketing. The IFAD-funded Support to Agricultural Production and Marketing Project (PROPACOM) and other projects have introduced hydro-agricultural improvements and invested in disseminating improved farming technologies. Drawing lessons learned from the experience of these projects, PADFA will ensure continuity with PROPACOM and scale up tangible results while introducing further innovations.
The PADFA will concentrate on improving packaging, storage, processing and marketing, and will expand the supply of rice, vegetables and mango. These agricultural products were selected on the basis of economic value, profitability and competitiveness, as well as domestic and international market demand. In addition, they will have potential impact on farm household incomes, particularly among young people and women, and will contribute to the national economy through import substitution and higher exports, and to food security and better nutrition.
The PADFA will work with various players in the value chain of the target agricultural products, including the private sector to increase income of the smallholder producers by identifying areas where efficiency, productivity and quality can be improved. To increase their incomes, smallholders need both to create a surplus for sale and to develop the post-harvest capacities that will enable them to reach a market. PADFA will help producers connect to the value chains for their respective products.
Since 1984, IFAD has financed 11 rural development programmes and projects in Côte d’Ivoire for a total cost of $411.8 million, with an IFAD investment of $178.4 million directly benefiting 585,500 rural households.