Monze, Zambia, November 25, 2009 –
Zambian President Rupiah Banda has officially opened the country’s planting
season at a maize and dairy farm supported by an IFC project that is helping
Zambian farmers access the finance and skills they need to boost their
productivity. IFC is a member of the World Bank Group.
IFC’s Zambia Emergent Farmer Finance
and Support Program provides access to finance, technical support, and
business training to 50 Zambian farmers, helping them become sustainable
commercial farmers who produce high-quality products. The program, launched
in 2008, expects by 2013 to support 300 farmers with training and $30 million
The planting ceremony welcomed hundreds
of farmers from the region to a farm in Zambia’s Southern Province run
by Loti Chiluli, who has more than doubled his output thanks to support
from IFC and IFC’s partners.
Saleem Karimjee, IFC Country Manager
for Zambia, said, “IFC can deploy a comprehensive package of investment
and advisory services to farmers who have the potential to grow and diversify
their enterprises. Agriculture contributes almost a quarter of Africa’s
GDP and employs about 70 percent of the working population. It is an extremely
important sector for Africa and IFC wants to provide more support for it.”
IFC is increasing support for African
agribusiness in response to growing demand and rising prices for basic
crops, which threaten to send millions back into poverty. IFC’s direct
investments and investments through financial intermediaries into African
agribusiness companies reached $160 million in FY09.
IFC launched the Africa Agriculture
Finance Project (AAFP) in September, 2009 to support farmers across sub-Saharan
Africa .The Zambia program was the first project to be rolled out under
To support farmers in Zambia, IFC has
partnered with the Zambia National Farmers Union, Zambia National Commercial
Bank, and Rabobank of Holland. IFC is also working with donors and private
sector firms, including the Conservation Farming Unit, USAID Profit, Omnia
Fertilizer Ltd, Prime Agri Center, the Zambia Development Agency, Madison
General, and the Zambia Chamber of Small and Medium Business Associations.
IFC is the only international financial
institution focused exclusively on the private sector, the engine of sustainable
development in emerging markets. Along with IBRD, IFC is currently seeking
a capital increase to strengthen its ability to create opportunity for
the poor in developing countries—including supporting the growth of Africa’s
important agriculture sector.
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, creates opportunity for people to
escape poverty and improve their lives. We foster sustainable economic
growth in developing countries by supporting private sector development,
mobilizing private capital, and providing advisory and risk mitigation
services to businesses and governments. Our new investments totaled $14.5
billion in fiscal 2009, helping channel capital into developing countries
during the financial crisis. For more information, visit www.ifc.org.