SENEGAL – The government of Senegal has received €63.6 million (US$63.2m) loan from the African Development Bank Group to implement the Agropole-Centre agro-industrial processing zone project.

The Agropole-Centre project entails the establishment of an agro-industrial value chain development fund for producers and small businesses operating along the groundnuts, cereals, animal products, and salt value chains.

Agricultural producers will benefit from essential seeds, good access to knowledge and resources including non-financial and financial resources, as well as efficient and climate-resilient technologies: solar-powered water-saving equipment, soil protection, and restoration techniques.

The fund will develop a central module covering an area of 80 hectares to serve as a hub that meets international standards, packaging and storage of agricultural products, and energy production.

It will be gender-sensitive and focus on upstream and downstream activities to increase the financial inclusion of value chain actors.

According to AfDB, the venture is expected to stimulate €67.74 million (US$67.4m) in private investment through 37 projects in the key agro-industrial sectors, generating at least €23.17 million in tax revenue for the government.

It will also create 129,500 direct and 208,800 indirect jobs with about 52% for women.

At the end of the project’s first phase (2023-2027), the bank expects attainment of the following results i.e., processing at least 400,000 tonnes of peanuts, 100,000 tonnes of cereals, and 50,000 tonnes of salt.

“The Bank is a key partner of Senegal in the implementation of five integrated competitive agropoles planned under the Senegal Emerging Plan, through a public-private partnership.

“After the approval of the Southern agropoles in 2019, we are now financing the one in the country’s Centre region, which covers an important agricultural basin,” said Marie-Laure Akin Olugbade, the Bank’s Director General for West Africa.

The Ministry of Industrial Development and Small and Medium Industries will implement the project in four regions in central Senegal: Kaolack, Kaffrine, Fatick, and Diourbel.

Its implementation will help increase agricultural exports and boost food security in rural areas.

The project benefits from the lessons learned from this type of agro-industrial project, financed through a public-private partnership through the experience accumulated in Côte d’Ivoire, Ethiopia, Nigeria, Togo, and Senegal in particular, which gives it a comparative advantage.

As of 31 August 2022, the African Development Bank’s active portfolio in Senegal comprised 33 operations with a total commitment of US$2 billion.

Senegal was the first country to benefit from the bank’s US$1.5 billion Emergency Food Production Facility, receiving a US$121m loan to boost local food production.

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