AFRICA – The Norwegian government has committed US$17 million in the development of agricultural markets for 600,000 smallholder farmers in Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania, and Zambia over the next three years up to 2023.
The project, which will be spearheaded by Farm to Market Alliance (FTMA), also plans to engage over 3,000 agricultural small and medium-scale enterprises (SMEs) in profitable food value chains, thus boosting their income and sustainability.
FTMA, which is a unique coalition consisting of six organisations namely Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA), Bayer Crop Science Division, Rabobank, Syngenta Crop Protection, Yara International and the World Food Programme (WFP), is aimed at developing a sustainable and profitable agricultural sector in Africa.
It does so by addressing the major challenges smallholder farmers face, supporting their transition to commercial agriculture.
The Farm to Market Alliance works to build resilient value chains by bringing together the public and private sectors to leverage the knowledge, experience and infrastructure of the world’s leading experts in agriculture.
“The Farm to Market Alliance is a unique collaboration that supports the growth of agricultural markets and works with smallholder farmers to help them find buyers for their produce – enabling them to earn a sustainable living and support their families.”Executive Director of the World Food Program – David Beasley
According to a statement issued by the Norwegian government, the financing is an addition to the US$2.9m it issued to the alliance during the first phase of the project through a WFP Trust fund.
“I am impressed with the results achieved and the way FtMA works with small users on the ground to ensure better access to profitable markets.
“I am particularly pleased with the efforts to strengthen the role of women in agriculture and involve young people,” said Norway’s Minister for Development Aid Dag-Inge Ulstein (KrF).
Africa is recognized as the future breadbasket of the world, but the continent is still a net-importer of food.
For too long, farmers in the region have been subject to a range of barriers preventing them from transitioning to commercial farming.
To address this, the Farm to Market Alliance takes a demand-led approach in servicing smallholder farmers and the surrounding ecosystem thus providing a holistic value chain solution.
“The private sector has a critical role to play in the worldwide movement to end hunger – we will never achieve our goal without their support,” says Executive Director of the World Food Program, David Beasley.
“The Farm to Market Alliance is a unique collaboration that supports the growth of agricultural markets and works with smallholder farmers to help them find buyers for their produce – enabling them to earn a sustainable living and support their families,” he added.
The announcement of continued funding to the Farm to Market Alliance comes at a time when access to food is deteriorating for millions of people, threatening both food security and peace in vulnerable regions.
“In the middle of the Covid crisis we are also facing a hunger crisis. We must rebuild more resilient and fair food systems after the pandemic, and the Farm to Market Alliance is uniquely positioned to help us achieve that goal,” says Yara’s President & CEO, Svein Tore Holsether.
Liked this article? Subscribe to Food Business Africa News, our regular email newsletters with the latest news insights from Africa and the World’s food and agro industry. SUBSCRIBE HERE