The Board of the African Development Bank Group (www.AfDB.org) has approved a €63 million loan to Kenya to increase grain and oilseed production by over 1.5 million tonnes over the next two years. The increase in production will help strengthen national food security and economic resilience.
The loan is part of the African Development Bank’s $1.5 billion African Emergency Food Production Facility, an Africa-wide initiative to avert a looming food crisis exacerbated by the war in Ukraine.
The loan will support the country’s Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, Fisheries and Cooperatives (MoALFC). It will allow the government to provide farmers with affordable fertilizer and seed without delay before the short rains of October-December 2022 and in the 2022/2023 crop production season with long rains.
“We are pleased to introduce the Kenyan African Emergency Food Manufacturing Facility,” said Dr. Beth Dunford, Bank Vice President for Agriculture, Human and Social Development. “Successful implementation of the facility will directly benefit around 650,000 farmers, resulting in the production of 1.5 million tonnes of grains and oilseeds. Overall, the facility will have a positive impact on around 2.8 million people,” she added.
The project includes the supply of certified seeds, fertilizers and agricultural advice to 650,000 farmers to increase productivity. An e-voucher system is used to ensure that inputs subsidies are ‘smart’.
Another component of the project will provide trade finance guarantees and leverage the private sector to ensure farmers have sufficient amounts of fertilizer available. In addition to improving the availability of basic foodstuffs, women and young people in particular should benefit from the project, which is aimed at small farmers.
“The government is looking at ways and means to lower the cost of ‘unga’ (cornmeal) so that consumers can afford it,” said Peter Munya, cabinet secretary of the MoALFC.
The agricultural sector remains the backbone of Kenya’s economy, employing 70% of the rural population and accounting for about 65% of export earnings, although its share of GDP has declined in the recent past.
Yet Kenya – and other countries in East Africa and the Horn of Africa – has been hit hard not only by the inflationary effects of the war in Ukraine, but also by swarms of locusts and climate and drought-related effects. The number of food insecure people in the pastoral and peripheral areas of the country is estimated to have increased by 48% between August 2021 and February 2022.
These overlapping shocks – along with the Covid-19 pandemic – have set back Kenya’s progress towards meeting the Sustainable Development Goals.
On May 20, Bank Group’s Board of Directors approved the African Emergency Food Production Facility, which will provide agricultural seeds for 20 million African farmers. The goal is to produce an additional 38 million tons of food, mostly wheat, corn, rice and soybeans, which will bring in $12 billion over the next two years.
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of African Development Bank Group (AfDB).
Communications and External Relations Department
African Development Bank
E-mail: [email protected]
About the African Development Bank Group:
The African Development Bank Group (AfDB) is Africa’s leading development finance institution. It consists of three different entities: the African Development Bank (AfDB), the African Development Fund (ADF) and the Nigeria Trust Fund (NTF). Locally in 44 African countries with a field office in Japan, the AfDB contributes to the economic development and social progress of its 54 regional member states. For more information: www.AfDB.org
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