IFC, Canada Partner to Improve Market Access for African Farmers
Agriculture employs more than half in most African countries and is an important contributor to economies, yet it is unable to support robust livelihoods of the many smallholder and subsistence farmers in the region. Accelerating growth in the sector will have a big impact on reducing poverty and in helping African countries achieve Millennium Development Goals.
IFC recently launched a new partnership with Canada to enhance farmers’ access to markets in East and West Africa. Canada’s Minister of International Development and La Francophonie, The Honourable Christian Paradis, announced Canada’s contribution to IFC’s work during a meeting with Ambassadors and High Commissioners of African countries. He emphasized Canada's continued commitment to advancing economic growth in Africa.
"Canada is a leader in advancing economic growth in Africa, including the development of the agriculture sector," said Minister Paradis. "By gaining better access to more markets and improving their agricultural practices, farmers have a better chance to be more competitive and productive, and to increase income. By engaging with the private sector, we are helping them turn agriculture from a subsistence or low-yield activity into viable businesses. Ultimately, the livelihoods of farmers and their families will improve, and their communities will benefit."
The project will improve access of small-scale farmers to local, regional and international markets. Farmers will receive support to meet international trade standards, improving agricultural practices and the quality of produce. Farmers will be integrated in key activities along the producer-to-buyer supply chain, in partnership with the private sector, using techniques such as contract farming.
"Our new partnership with Canada in African agribusiness will enhance farmers’ ability to bring their goods to market," said Jean Philippe Prosper, IFC Vice-President for Sub-Saharan Africa and Latin America and the Caribbean. "This partnership is one of many ways we strengthen IFC's impact and encourage inclusive private sector development, in line with Canada's involvement in Africa’s development priorities."
IFC supports a broad range of programs and initiatives across all of its Advisory Services business lines to support development of Africa’s agribusiness sector and promote private investment into the sector. IFC’s programs and projects span the entire agricultural value chain, including production, an area often overlooked by other partners.