AfDB and Madagascar sign USD 1.1 million to finance youth agriculture programme

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The African Development Bank and Madagascar on Monday, May 23 2016 in Lusaka, signed a USD 1.1-million loan to support preparation of the country’s youth agricultural entrepreneurship programme.

The “Enable Youth Programme” targets university graduates, and aims to offer them decent, well-paying jobs. It will also enhance food security in the country.

Signing for the agreement for his country, Madagascar’s Minister of Finance and Budget, Gervais François Marie Maurice Rakotoarimanana, highlighted the relevance of the project, which he said will affect young people who account for 50% of the population, and help to improve the value chain including commercial agriculture.

For his part, the Bank’s Acting Vice-President for Water, Human Development, Governance and Natural Resources, Kapil Kapoor, who signed for the AfDB, noted that Africa imports a lot of agricultural produce despite its huge agricultural potential. “We are pleased that the project will also contribute to a feasibility study to bankable agricultural projects for young people,” said Kapoor. He added that in the coming decade, Africa must create 100 million jobs for young people, of which 40 million in agriculture.

The Enable Youth programme aims to promote intensive agriculture by developing investment areas that can mobilize all development stakeholders through increased private investment in agriculture. The programme will also support the modernization of farming practices and the emergence of businesses in the agricultural sector which still employs 80% of Madagascar’s working population.

It will also help to increase the incomes of the target population by supporting rural businesses and helping to boost farm yields in Madagascar.