CONGO – The Board of Directors of the African Development Bank have approved a loan of US$80.75 million for the Republic of Congo to set up agricultural value chains for the benefit of more than 350,000 people.

The Integrated Agricultural Value Chain Development Project in Congo (PROVIDAC), which will be implemented for six years, must cover the corridors of the major marketing centers of Brazzaville and Pointe Noire as well as the production basins in the Plateaux departments; Pool, Bouenza, Cuvette and Niari.

Ali Eyeghe, head of the Agriculture, Human and Social Development for Central Africa Division (RDGC2) at the African Development Bank, said:

“The project will focus on a limited number of value chains, including cassava (flour and other products), poultry (broilers and eggs), maize (animal feed, human and brewery), aquaculture and fish farming (fresh fish and salted fish, smoked).”

“Some 355,000 people, 40% of whom are women and 40% of whom are young people in the various links of the targeted agricultural value chains, are concerned by the interventions of PROVIDAC”, added Ali Eyeghe.

In addition to supporting women’s economic empowerment, entrepreneurship and skills development for young people, the project is expected to contribute to the establishment of a suitable agricultural financing mechanism.

It will thus improve agricultural productivity over the long term thanks to access to factors of production (improved and resilient inputs, machinery, plowing, capital, land), the management of soil fertility and the improvement of rural infrastructures, especially for opening up basins.

Since 1967, the African Development Bank has financed development operations in the Republic of Congo for US$487 million.

Apart from the study of the agricultural sector conducted in 2012, the Bank’s investments in Congo in the agricultural sector date back more than 20 years.

The African Development Bank Group or Banque Africaine de Développement is a multilateral development finance institution. The AfDB was founded in 1964 and comprises three entities: The African Development Bank, the African Development Fund and the Nigeria Trust Fund.

The AfDB is a financial provider to African governments and private companies investing in the regional member countries (RMC).