SUDAN – The African Development Bank’s Board of Directors has approved a US$60m loan to Elnefeidi Group Holding Company in Sudan to help finance its long-term agriculture and food expansion programme.
The loan is expected to contribute significantly to food security, food import substitution, and household incomes by creating jobs.
It will also in turn increase local productivity and distribution by over half a million metric tonnes each year across several countries.
The planned expansion includes increasing agricultural productivity, enhancing related infrastructure, food processing and distribution.
It will directly contribute in developing Sudan’s livestock value chain (poultry and beef) by increasing the country’s export capacity for value-added livestock products.
This will help reduce the economic value that the country loses by exporting millions of live animals each year.
“Agricultural transformation is one of the Bank’s top five strategic priorities and the Bank is delighted to have identified a viable private sector actor like Elnefeidi Group which has a proven track record and through which we can channel the Bank’s support” said Atsuko Toda, African Development Bank Director for Agriculture Finance and Rural Development.
In addition to that, the Bank’s Board of Directors have approved a US$21.783 million grant to the government of Sudan to accelerate the adoption of solar-powered irrigation pumps in the country’s West Kordofan and North Kordofan states.
The project will enable farmers’ adoption of renewable energy technology through the installation of 1,170 photovoltaic (PV) irrigation pumps, the establishment of maintenance and repair workshops for the pumps, and the supply of equipment for a pump testing laboratory to provide certification and training.
For the sector, and for the wider economy, the project offers significant and numerous knock-on benefits.
As a result of the expected phasing out of diesel-fueled pumps, participating farmers will realise cost savings from no longer needing to purchase diesel, which is scarce in rural areas.
Mr. Paul Baldeh, the Bank’s Director for Power Systems Development, noted that “by extending farmers a grant covering 75% of installation costs, the government, with Bank support, will overcome the most significant hurdle of adopting clean PV technology: high upfront costs.”
The remaining 25% will be payable in instalments over three years.
The project will also conduct a ground water survey and sustainability assessment that will inform the development of subsequent projects in Sudan.
The project meets the Sudanese government’s renewable energy and poverty reduction objectives as well as the Bank’s High Five and Energy Sector Policy.