Accelerating Agri-Business Development in Ethiopia with the Agriculture Fast Track Fund
The African Development Bank has signed two grant agreements to finance agri-business development projects through the Agriculture Fast Track Fund.
Funded by the United States, Denmark, and Sweden, the Agriculture Fast Track Fund supports Africa-based agri-business SMEs by financing the development costs of agriculture infrastructure projects that span the value chain from rural feeder roads to agro-processing and marketing facilities, to out-grower schemes. Running the gamut from production to marketing, these projects contribute to food security, provide support to smallholder farmers, and encourage women’s participation and empowerment.
The two Ethiopian grant-winners were selected after a rigorous competition in 2017. Zebad General Export Import Plc., a coffee-processing firm, was awarded US $150,000 to conduct financial, technical, marketing and Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA) feasibility studies to enhance the bankability of the Commercial Coffee Farms and Premium Coffee Processing Facility’ project. HAE Spice and Baltina Plc., an organic farming company, was awarded US $195,000 to conduct detailed feasibility studies to prepare the Organic and Fair Trade Red Pepper and Tropical Spices in Ethiopia. These two new projects grow the pipeline of the Bank’s US $1.7 billion portfolio in Ethiopia.
Country Manager Abdul Kamara indicated that the grant approval is part of a bigger initiative that the Bank launched in Accra, Ghana, in March 2018 comprising 12 new projects in 10 countries under the Agriculture Fast Track Fund. Congratulating the two winning companies, he encouraged them to continue to work hard and deliver good quality bankable projects that will help develop Ethiopia’s agribusiness sector.