AFDB awards $84.2 million grant to Ethiopia to enhance wheat productions
The African Development Bank (AfDB) has awarded a grant of $84.2 million to improve farmer’s income through wheat production in Ethiopia.

Date Created : 8/17/2023 12:00:00 AM : Story Author :

The funding, provided under the Resilient Wheat Value Chain Development Project (CREW), comprises $54 million from the African Development Fund and $20 million from the Government of the Netherlands.

It also includes $10 million from agribusiness firm, OCP Africa, $300,000 from the Global Center on Adaptation and $10 million in counterpart funding from the Ethiopian government for the project.

The project is made up of three components that include Climate Smart Wheat Productivity and Production; Market Infrastructure, Linkages, and Agri-Finance; and Project Coordination and Management.

The AfDB in statement said an agreement was signed on August 2, 2023, in Addis Ababa by Ahmed Shide, Minister for Finance, Ethiopia and Abdul Kamara, African Development Bank Group Director for East Africa for the implementation of the country’s Climate Resilient Wheat Value Chain Development Project (CREW).

Under the Bank’s flagship Technologies for Agriculture Transformation Initiative (TAAT) project, Ethiopia and several other countries have been supported across the continent to boost productivity in agriculture.

The CREW project according to the Bank would be implemented over a five year period to benefit 500,000 small-scale farmer households.

The statement noted the project was also designed to scale up and sustain TAAT’s successful results, which supported Ethiopia’s wheat self-sufficiency project.

At the signing event, Abdul Kamara, African Development Bank Group Director for East Africa, said the project was aimed at building resilience in wheat production against supply disruptions associated with Russia Ukraine crisis, climate change and rising cost of living.

"It also seeks to sustain Ethiopia’s exemplary strides in attaining wheat self-sufficiency and export orientation, a model that other African countries should emulate,’’ he said.

He added: "The signing of the agreement of this grant demonstrates the Bank’s unwavering commitment to support Ethiopia and its people and further reaffirms the partnership between the Bank and the government towards achieving the country’s vision of becoming a lower-middle income country.’’

On his part, Ahmed Shide, Minister of Finance, Ethiopia, praised the Bank’s support underscoring that the project would accelerate and sustain the government’s wheat sufficiency initiative.

The statement further stated that the project would be jointly funded by the AFDB, multinational organizations and the government of Ethiopia.

"The grant comprises $54 million from the African Development Bank Fund, the Banks Group’s concessional lending window for low-income countries, $ 20 million from agribusiness firm OCP Africa, and $ 300,000 from the Global Centre on Adaptation,’’ the statement said.

The grant brings the Bank’s current commitment to Ethiopia to $ 1.23 billion, covering the key sectors of basic services, energy, transport, water supply and sanitation, agriculture, and the private sector.

APO Group would distribute the funds on behalf of AfDB. Ethiopia is the second largest wheat producer in sub-Saharan Africa after South Africa.

The country plans to become wheat sufficient and net exporter by 2025/26 aiming to produce an additional 4.2 million tonnes of irrigated wheat by deploying proven technologies and innovations.