WASHINGTON, DC – The International Finance Corporation (IFC) and the Global Agriculture and Food Security Program (GAFSP) are launching smallholder farmer financing programs with the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) to improve food security among vulnerable people in Rwanda and Tanzania.
The initiatives with KCB Bank Rwanda Limited and CRDB Bank PLC in Tanzania are part of the Farm to Market Alliance, a multi-stakeholder platform established in 2016, of which IFC and WFP are global members, to create agriculture value chains that secure sizeable local and international demand for produce from smallholder farmers. The Alliance is designed to create systemic change in markets through a holistic approach to smallholder development. This approach, which is sustainable and commercially viable, benefits individual farmers and broadens the global supply base of agricultural produce to meet increasing demand.
“Smallholder farmers produce most of the world’s food, but they form the majority of people living in poverty and often have food security challenges themselves,” said David Beasley, WFP Executive Director. “We want to help them get better access to markets so they build more demand for their products, thus making a long-term impact on the economic future for them and their families. But WFP can’t do it alone, and that’s why we are grateful for our collaboration with others through the Farm to Market Alliance.”
“Agribusiness drives many African economies and creates the most jobs on the continent,” said IFC CEO Philippe Le Houérou. “Through the Farm to Market Alliance, IFC is creating new markets—by connecting smallholder farmers in Sub-Saharan Africa directly with buyers. The result: improved productivity and higher living standards for people in rural areas.”
IFC, joined by GAFSP, will provide advisory services in the form of capacity building activities to improve the professionalism of smallholder farmer cooperatives in the area of financial management and governance as well as agronomy and input use training.
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is the largest global development institution focused on the private sector in emerging markets. Working with 2,000 businesses worldwide, we use our six decades of experience to create opportunity where it’s needed most. In FY16, our long-term investments in developing countries rose to nearly $19 billion, leveraging our capital, expertise and influence to help the private sector end extreme poverty and boost shared prosperity. For more information, visit www.ifc.org.
The Global Agriculture and Food Security Program is a multilateral mechanism to assist in the implementation of pledges made by the global community to support country-led investment plans. The GAFSP Private Sector Window (PSW) plays a catalytic role by supporting private sector investment projects and promoting sustainable agriculture in developing countries. GAFSP aims to improve the livelihoods of SMEs and small hold farmers through sustainable solutions to improve access to finance and reduce risks in agriculture. GAFSP is funded by six donors including Australia, the Netherlands, Canada, Japan, United Kingdom through DFID, and the United States.
WFP is the world’s largest humanitarian agency fighting hunger worldwide, delivering food assistance in emergencies and working with communities to improve nutrition and build resilience. Each year, WFP assists some 80 million people in around 80 countries. WFP’s deep field presence, vast experience in smallholder farmer engagement and public-private partnerships are used to roll out programmes that connect smallholder farmers to formal markets. For more information, visit www.wfp.org.
About the Farm to Market Alliance
The Farm to Market Alliance seeks to transform food crop markets through the active and long-term engagement of smallholder farmers, multiplying returns for all stakeholders in the supply chain. The Alliance is a consortium of eight leading Agri-focused organisations [AGRA, Bayer, Grow Africa, IFC, Rabobank, Syngenta, UN World Food Programme and Yara] combining specific expertise and skills to enable smallholder farmers to access global markets. The commitment of the Alliance is to empower 1.5 million farmers in developing countries, generating over USD750 million of aggregated annual purchasing demand.