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Bank Group vision

The overall Bank Group Vision for Agriculture and Rural Development is to strive to become the leading development finance institution in Africa, dedicated to assisting African regional member countries in their poverty reduction efforts.

This Vision thus focuses on the central goal of poverty reduction and, therefore, on agriculture and rural development as a prime building block, given the dominant role agriculture plays in most RMCs, as the key employer of the people and the main contributor to GDP, rural transformation, and economic growth.

More specifically, the Bank’s vision for the agriculture and rural development sector is to assume a leading catalytic role, within the next decade, in supporting the technological, institutional and policy changes that would trigger a lasting transformation of the rural economies of RMCs by empowering their rural populations to improve their productivity and real incomes in an equitable and environmentally sustainable manner.  Hence, the thrust of the vision is client-focus, with “people-centered development” as the principal theme.

The transformation of African agriculture requires a shift from the highly diversified, subsistence-oriented farming activity towards a more commercially-oriented agriculture with improved access to markets and agro-industry.  It involves a greater reliance on input and output markets and increased integration of agriculture with other sectors of the domestic and international economies. It also involves a more efficient and balanced use of indigenous knowledge and "modern" scientific knowledge.

The Bank thus recognizes that the challenges of the sector are enormous and numerous. As such, over the medium term, the Bank is focusing on promoting agriculture related rural infrastructure, agro-industry development, climate change adaptation and natural resources management. This is in line with the Bank comparative strength and the envisaged division of labor among development partners.

In Rural Infrastructure Development, the Bank’s efforts are contributing to growth and poverty reduction by supporting a broad range of rural infrastructure interventions that promote and facilitate economic growth with particular emphasis on creating and supporting the enabling environment for the small and medium size farmers to produce food and cash crops in a sustainable manner. Particular attention is being given to the provision of rural roads, rural water supply, marketing infrastructure, large scale irrigation schemes, water harvesting and conveyance systems, and processing facilities. The Bank is also supporting agriculture research and on a more selective basis, supporting programs that are geared towards productivity increases of selected crops and strategic interventions in the livestock sub-sector.

Climate Change Adaptation and Natural Resources Management

In line with the Bank’s efforts to contribute to the climate change adaptation and mitigation agenda, we are introducing special measures to address climate change issues through mainstreaming positive mitigation measures in every project design. For ongoing portfolio, AfDB is reviewing the resilience of the operations to climate change and introducing adaptation measures to selected operations to evaluate their effectiveness, and scaling up the application of successful ones. In the area of Natural Resource Management, emphasis is on improved conservation, utilization, governance and management regimes for land, water, fish and forest resources as well as conserving biodiversity. Particular focus is being given to those operations which demonstrate production of regional public goods.