By Elizabeth Adegbesan
THE African Development Bank, AfDB, is set to support Small and Medium Enterprises, SMEs, in the agricultural sector in Nigeria, Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Ghana, Malawi and Mozambique with 12 new projects.
The 12 projects which will be launched by the bank on March 27 – 29, this year is funded by the Agriculture Fast Track Fund (AFT) whose function is to support the development of bankable agricultural infrastructure projects.
In a statement posted at its website on March 23, 2018, the bank stated: “The AFT is managed by the African Development Bank to support the development of a strong pipeline of “bankable” agriculture infrastructure projects, funded by the governments of the United States, Denmark, and Sweden, in support of project preparation activities to facilitate the takeoff of African Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs).
“The AFT finances the project development cost of a broad range of agriculture infrastructure spanning the entire value chain, from production to market. Target projects range from rural feeder roads to agro-processing and marketing facilities, and out-grower schemes. Emphasis is on projects that contribute to food security and support to smallholder farmers.”
Recently, the AfDB Director in Nigeria, Faal Ebrima disclosed in Abuja that: “The 2018 programme is focusing mostly on the power sector. Some of the projects we are working together on are in Jigawa, Bauchi and Sokoto and two others. We also anticipate supporting the private sector in developing two large fertilizer plants.
“There is a world class clinic we are working on to provide world-class medical facilities to Nigerians than having them travel outside. We call it the Santa Clara Clinic in Lagos, which we hope to finish this year. We are also looking towards providing credits to support cassava processing and other agricultural businesses so these are the areas that we will be supporting Nigeria this year.”