Washington, D.C., July 18, 2017 – IFC,
a member of the World Bank Group, 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
they 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 helping to connect
farmers in Africa to markets around the world. This will help raise the
living standards for people in rural areas and give them many more opportunities.”
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 more than 2,000 businesses worldwide,
we use our capital, expertise, and influence to create markets and opportunities
in the toughest areas of the world. In FY16, we delivered a record $19
billion in long-term financing for developing countries, leveraging the
power of the private sector to help end 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.