SENEGAL – The Board of Directors of the African Development Bank Group (AfDB) approved, on November 22, a grant of 86.89 million euros (US$95M) to develop an agro-industrial processing zone in northern Senegal.

Dubbed ‘Projet Agropole Nord’, translated in English as ‘Agricultural Hub North Project’, the project aims to improve the industrial processing capacities to sustainably increase income and food security for households.

The Bank’s contribution accounts for 30.7% of the estimated €283.05 million (US$309M) total project cost. The Islamic Development Bank (21.2%), the West African Development Bank (15.9%), Sponsor Dette (19.3%) and Sponsor Equity (7.7%).

The Senegalese State will contribute 5.2% of the project cost. 

This project is part of the creation of five integrated and competitive agropoles of the Senegal Emerging Plan by 2025 of the government of Senegal. 

In terms of expected achievements, Agropole Nord will enable the processing and marketing of approximately 2.12 million tonnes of agricultural products in the 5th year. 

In addition to its financial and economic impact, the project should lead to the creation of 129,800 direct jobs in the targeted agro-sylvo-pastoral and fisheries sectors and 298,800 indirect jobs in related services. 

It follows the approval by the Council of the Agropole Sud and Agropole Center projects to cover the regions of Kolda, Sédhiou and Ziguinchor in the south of Senegal and the regions of Diourbel, Fatick, Kaffrine and Kaolack in the center of the country, respectively.

The Agropole North Project, which will be implemented by the Senegalese Ministry of Industrial Development and Small and Medium Industries, will help increase agricultural exports and consequently reduce food imports as well as food insecurity in rural areas.

The project intervention area covers the regions of Louga, Matam, and Saint-Louis with approximately 2.8 million inhabitants. 

The project area has significant agricultural, silvopastoral and aquaculture potential. The region provides more than 80% of national rice production, 90% of industrial tomatoes and 50% of onions. 

With a maritime coastline, the Senegal River, and Lake Guiers, the Saint-Louis region produces 122,000 tonnes of fish per year. In addition, it is home to several private investments in the Senegal River valley.

During its implementation, the project will promote the emergence of three agro-industrial development poles through three agro-industrial parks in the localities of Ogo, Bokhol and Dahra (from 130 to 150 hectares each) and 14 agricultural centers, aggregation, and services, which will facilitate the networking of value chain actors. 

It will also serve as a multi-sector incubation and integration platform for technologies, equipment, and services in favor of SMEs/SMIs and professional agricultural organizations. 

These centers will make it possible to act to reduce the factors of fragility linked to the phenomenon of migration and climate change noted in the project area.

As of October 31, 2023, the active portfolio of the African Development Bank Group in Senegal included 35 operations for a total commitment of 1,380 billion FCFA (US$2.3B).

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