BURKINA FASO – The government of Burkina Faso has penned a US$20m development loan from the OPEC Fund for International Development to help finance the country’s Agricultural Value Chain Support Project (PAPFA).

The total cost of the project is US$71.7 million, with an added financing of US$19 million loan and a US$19 million grant under the debt sustainability framework from IFAD.

PAPFA will be additionally co-financed by the Government of Burkina Faso (US$6.4 million) and the beneficiaries themselves (US$7.3 million).

PAPFA aims to contribute to poverty alleviation and to enhance food security in Burkina Faso.

The project will focus majorly on crop and vegetable farmers to adopt efficient technologies related to the production, processing and storage of produce.

In addition to that the project will provide the farmers with inputs, equipment and technical assistance, develop cropland and upgrade rural infrastructure, improving living conditions for around 342,000 people.

Through this it will ultimately enable the farmers to increase sales in local and regional markets.

The loan agreement was signed by The Director-General of the OPEC Fund Dr Abdulhamid Alkhalifa with Burkina Faso’s Minister of Economy, Finance and Development, Lassané Kabore.

“This latest OPEC Fund loan demonstrates our continued commitment to a striving country that retains hope, despite the challenges it still faces. It is our way of saying: ‘we are your partners’,” said Dr Alkhalifa.

The OPEC Fund has worked with Burkina Faso for more than four decades. During that time, the organization has approved more than 40 public sector loans amounting to nearly US$300 million to the country.

The OPEC Fund has also approved 11 trade finance loans for a total of US$270 million, as well as a number of national grants.

PAPFA builds on the gains made by previous projects, such as the Agricultural Commodity Value Chain Support Project, the Rural Business Services Development Project, Neer-Tamba and the Agricultural Diversification and Market Development Project.