MADAGASCAR- The African Development Bank (AFDB) in partnership with the government of Madagascar has launched a US$ 20 million Emergency Food Production Reinforcement Project, envisioned to increase the productivity of cereal and oilseed crops.

According to Agency Ecofin, the project, launched in Marovoay -Boeny region, is financed by the Africa Development Fund and the Transition Support Facility for an overall cost of US$ 20M.

As part of the African Emergency Food Production Facility, the new project has earmarked rice, wheat, soybean, and groundnuts to increase their area under cultivation to more than 47,500 hectares.

The project aims to increase the production of cereals and oilseeds in Madagascar to cope with the soaring prices of basic necessities, following the successive crises of the Covid-19 pandemic, natural disasters (cyclones, droughts, floods), and the Russian-Ukrainian conflict.

This comes after the World Food Program (WFP) in its recent report estimated that nearly 1.47 million people in Madagascar need emergency food and nutritional aid in 2023 following episodes of extreme climatic conditions and natural disasters that have persisted in the country for the last four years.

Harifidy Janset Ramilison, the Malagasy Minister of Agriculture, however, revealed that this project will contribute to coping with the harmful effects which have led to the surge in food products on the market.

“This will at the same time reduce Madagascar’s dependence on imports of these necessities. The project thus provides a salutary response to the current context which calls for action,” he added.

Adam Amoumoun, the country manager of the AFDB Group in Madagascar indicated that the implementation of the project will enable more than 126,000 producers, including 30% of women to benefit from fertilizers, to increase production and productivity in the four crops.

According to the parties, a total of 2,590 tons of certified seeds, more than 1,950 tons of NPK fertilizer (nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium), and 11,622 tons of organic fertilizer will be provided to producers, which will allow them to have quality seeds.

In addition, 1,220 seed establishments will benefit from support for the distribution of certified basic seeds and organic fertilizer to increase seed production.

The project strengthens the portfolio of agricultural projects in Madagascar and marks the commitment of the AFDB to support the government following the implementation of the Country Strategy Paper 2022-2026 of  the Bank for Madagascar

Mr. Amoumoun further recalled that the AFDB is already supporting Madagascar in developing its agriculture, in particular through the Project for the Rehabilitation of Agricultural Infrastructure in the South-West Region and the Project for the Rehabilitation and Extension of the Bas Perimeter. -Mangoky.

Moreover, Amoumoun reiterated the availability of the bank to support the Malagasy government and to work with other development partners to mobilize the necessary financing for the projects of the Madagascar Compact adopted at the Dakar 2 Summit on food sovereignty and resilience.  

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