THE African Development Bank (AFDB) board of directors is considering a US$21m Agricultural Value Chain Project for Zimbabwe (AVCP) which is expected to promote infrastructure rehabilitation and value chain development of improved crop and livestock production.
According to AFDB country manager for Zimbabwe Damoni Kitabire the project will also indirectly benefit value chain players through job creation.
“The Bank is currently preparing an Agricultural Value Chain Project (AVCP), estimated total cost of USD 21.30 Million.
The project is awaiting approval by the Board of Directors and shall be communicated in due time.
The AVCP is expected to promote infrastructure rehabilitation and value chain development of improved crop and livestock production, productivity and marketing and household food security and inclusive growth.
Apart from direct beneficiaries, AVCP will also indirectly benefit other people through generation of employment along the value chains who will include civil works contractors, suppliers, local traders, agro-processors, transporters, exporters, casual laborers, rural youth and women to ensure inclusivity.”
He said the bank in 2017 had conducted a study on agricultural value chain analysis in Zimbabwe and identified the beef and horticulture value chains as having potential to transform the agriculture landscape.
The study revealed the two had potential for export, high employment and opportunities for women and youths.
Kitabire said the bank is currently financing two ongoing agriculture projects in Zimbabwe namely the Lake Harvest and Aquaculture Project (LHA) and Beef and Leather Value Chains Technical Assistance (BLVCP) with a cumulative total amount of US$10 Million.
The Lake Harvest Aquaculture Project was approved in 2011 at total cost of US$ 8 million with the objective to expand tilapia production in a financially, environmentally and socially sustainable manner in order to generate white protein for domestic consumption and export.
Kitabire said the project is enhancing economic growth, regional economic integration and regional food security.
The Bank funds so far have been primarily utilized to build and expand LHA’s tilapia feed mill, rehabilitate and expand the tilapia processing facilities.
Additionally the funds have rehabilitated and expanded the tilapia fish ponds and Lake Kariba fish cage infrastructure and build a regional distribution capability.
The BLVCP project is a US$ 2.3 million project financed by the Fund for Africa Private Sector Assistance (FAPA), the Transitional Support Facility (TSF) and the Japan International Finance Cooperation (JICA).
BLVCP aims to catalyze economic growth in Zimbabwe and contribute to addressing the country’s fragilities and building resilience.
The supporting of the growth of the two sub-sectors of the beef and leather value chain will result in the creation of employment, income growth, and poverty reduction for inclusive growth.