CÔTE D’IVOIRE – Advans Côte d’Ivoire (Advans-CI), a microfinance institution and member of the Advans group, has signed a financing agreement of 150 million CFA francs (US$245,000) to implement a pilot program intended to finance cooperatives of maize producers.
According to Ecofin Agency, Advans has partnered with Proparco, a subsidiary of the French Development Agency (AFD) dedicated to financing the private sector in developing countries.
In Côte d’Ivoire, Corn is the second most cultivated cereal after rice with production hovering around 1.2 million tonnes in 2022/2023. The crop is grown on nearly 560,000 hectares.
In 2022, FAO predicted that production of maize, including the secondary crop at 1.2 million tonnes, nearly 10 percent above the average, reflecting favorable weather conditions and an increase in the planted area.
However, support for important crops such as cereals and tubers remains limited compared to the facilities granted to crops such as cotton, cashew, or palm oil in the country. Faced with this reality, the country has called for initiatives from investors to support the sector.
Mariam Djibo, general manager of Advans-CI, revealed that this initiative should target 1,500 cereal producers operating in the north and center of the country, particularly in Bouaké and Korhogo.
These will benefit from input packages (seeds, fertilizers, and pesticides) that can enable them to increase yields and, by extension, the volume of products marketed.
“This grant will reduce the requirement for a security deposit on the part of maize producers with Advans Côte d’Ivoire
Françoise Lombard, Proparco’s Managing Director added that they will pre-finance part of this deposit to minimize what is required by the microfinance institution to provide inputs to farmers.
Last year, the African Development Bank’s Board of Directors granted Côte d’Ivoire a loan of €151.18 million to implement its Emergency Food Production Plan.
The plan was also supported by the Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA) to the tune of €68.14 million to enable Côte d’Ivoire to increase its national production of rice, maize, and cassava, to cope with soaring food prices
The program was envisaged to supply 2,279 tonnes of maize seeds and 3,539 tonnes of rice seeds, all certified climate-resilient hybrid seed varieties obtained from local seed producers and distributed to the country’s farmers.
The program also aimed at strengthening access to financing mechanisms to improve the accessibility of agricultural inputs and good farming practices through its dissemination services.