Published Friday , on 16 June 2017, 16:46:42 by Christophe Hitayezu

Ivory Coast: The African Development Bank (AfDB) Group and Export Trading Group (ETG) have signed a financial agreement worth $ 100 million loan to finance support agriculture on the African continent.

The money is expected promote employment for youths and women, and adopt an integrated value-chain approach that emphasizes access to regional and global markets.

Africa faces a significant food security challenge and continues to depend on food imports to meet ever-growing demand. The continent spent over $ 35 billion to import food in 2015 and net food imports are projected to increase to more than $ 110 billion by 2025.

As a Pan-African integrated agricultural production, processing, and trading company, the AfDB believes ETG has the potential and is the right partner for supporting production, storage, transport, processing, logistics and the capacity to maximize synergies and efficiencies at every stage of the value chain continuum.

The cash will also be used to support fertilizer projects in Kenya and Zambia and help reinforce the processing Plants in Tanzania, Zambia, Mozambique, Togo, Ethiopia, Benin, Zimbabwe, Nigeria and Uganda among other nations.

It will also play a key role in supporting multi-commodity warehouses in Burkina Faso, Malawi, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Niger, Benin, Nigeria, Zambia and Ethiopia; and (iv) Silos in Zimbabwe.

The program is strongly aligned with four of the top five priorities (Hi5s) including, the Feed Africa, Industrialize Africa, Integrate Africa, and Improve the quality of life for the people of Africa

It will significantly contribute not only in improving food production in Africa but most importantly in value addition and the wide distribution of food across the continent using the sponsor’s broad distribution networks, said the Bank officials.