AfDB approves $31m for agro growth
Published On April 9, 2014 » 1793 Views» By Hildah Lumba » Business, Stories
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By JAMES KUNDA
THE African Development Bank (AfDB) has approved a total of US$31.1 million grant under the Global Agriculture and Food Security Programme (GAFSP) to support the Zambian agricultural value chain development project.
AfDB said in a statement that, it was leveraging support to Zambia’s National Agriculture Investment Plan (NAIP) to help the country develop its agricultural value chain.
This project will be implemented in six districts namely; Sinazongwe, Gwembe, Chongwe, Rufunsa, Serenje and Chitambo.
“The Agriculture Productivity and Market Enhancement Project (APMEP) approved by the AfDB Board aims to develop irrigation and aquaculture as well as promote crop and livestock production and productivity,”  the statement said.
The grant would help Zambia develop projects in agro-processing and value addition, as well as promote market linkages for the enhancement of household income and food security.
This would spur economic growth and poverty reduction by ensuring food, income and nutrition security among beneficiaries.
The project’s three key components comprises; agriculture production and productivity with focus on development of irrigation, aquaculture and livestock including crop diversification.
AfDB stressed that value chain development and market linkages were among activities aligned to the bank’s Country Strategy Paper (CSP: 2011-2015), that emphasises the need to develop Zambia’s productive sectors by supporting economic diversification through infrastructure development, economic and financial governance.
The CSP 2011-2015 also focuses on the Government’s development agenda articulated in the National Vision 2030, which reflects Zambia’s aspirations of becoming a prosperous middle-income country by 2030.
The GAFSP project’s direct beneficiaries are estimated at 75,000 rural people, while indirect beneficiaries are about 40,000 people along the commodity value chain development.
It is expected to create at least 450 full-time skilled and semi-skilled and 2,200 part-time unskilled jobs in production, processing and marketing.
The project is estimated to cost $34.87 million and the GAFSP Grant will finance 89.3 per cent of the costs, while the Government and beneficiaries would contribute the remaining 10.3 per cent and 0.4 per cent, fund respectively.

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