The African Development Bank Group (AfDB) has approved the investment of $25 billion to develop agriculture in five African countries.
Akinwumi Adesina, AfDB’s president, disclosed this at the virtual conference to mark the 10th anniversary of Sahel Group, a private equity firm focused on agribusiness saying the fund would be shared among Senegal, Gabon, Mali, Sudan and Nigeria.
Adesina said the fund provided to Nigeria will help the country transform from a net fertilizer importing country to a fertilizer exporting nation.
“In Nigeria, the Bank is supporting Indorama Eleme Fertilizers and Chemicals with $210 million for the construction and operation of two urea fertilizer plants, with capacity of 2.8 million tons per annum,” he said.
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“The Bank provided $300 million corporate loan to Dangote Industries, for the establishment of a crude oil refinery and a urea fertilizer plant with 2.8 million tons per year capacity.”
According to Adesina, the millionaires and billionaires of Africa will come from agriculture, with the size of the food and agriculture market estimated at over $ 1 trillion by 2030.
He emphasized the importance of the Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), adding that countries in Africa must use the market effectively by producing more food through agro-industrialization that supports smallholder farmers and the private sector.
He noted that a large number of youths are moving into Agriculture, adding that AfDB has provided $406 million to support 23,000 young agripreneurs in 14 countries, as well as $120,000 cash prize awards for agricultural start-ups.
He added that AfDB is collaborating with other partners to establish a Fund for Agricultural Finance in Africa (FAFINA), to support small and medium sized agribusinesses.