TUNIS-BELVEDERE, Tunisia, 29 May 2014
TUNIS-BELVEDERE, Tunisia, 29 May 2014 / PRNewswire Africa / - The AfDB's Agriculture Fast Track Fund (AFT) has awarded two grants worth almost US$1.5 million to high value agriculture infrastructure projects in Mozambique. EcoFarm Sugar Cane Production and Odebrecht Integrated Poultry Production projects have been selected for their strong impact on local communities in Mozambique. They will be receiving funding to finance their market analyses, site surveys and other preparation costs.
The AFT has granted two new agribusiness operators in Mozambique with funding for project development. The first project, Odebrecht Integrated Poultry Production and Distribution, will receive US$555,000. The company will offer chicken products that add value to local raw material. The second enterprise is EcoFarm's Sugar Cane Estate Development, given US$797,500 in grant money. The project will be set near the town of Chemba in the Sofala Province of Mozambique. Three cooperatives will have 'Land Use Rights' to 50 per cent of the irrigated land as partners.
The AFT funds projects that are in the preparation stage. Odebrecht plans to use the grant to complete its final feasibility studies and market research. EcoFarm is scheduling undergo an environmental and social impact assessment.
The positive local impact pursued by both projects in Mozambique falls in line with the AFT's mandate to boost agriculture infrastructure in Africa.
Odebrecht trained 2,300 Mozambicans in Health and Safety, Environment, Quality and Psychology at Work through ACREDITAR. The company is looking to create, more than 4,000 jobs locally. The ACREDITAR training program seeks to help young people enter the labor market.
EcoFarm works with 1,150 farmers owning 50 per cent of the sugarcane estate and expects to create 1,000 jobs. The project seeks to add US$1.2 million of disposable income to the area. Sixty per cent of women in the region around Odebrecht and 50 per cent near EcoFarm will benefit from the projects as employees and both companies plan to ensure their female employees have opportunities for professional advancement.
Mozambique is one of the six first pilot countries (along with Côte d'Ivoire, Ghana, Burkina Faso, Tanzania and Ethiopia) to experiment the support of the AFT. The country is part of the New Alliance For Food Security and Nutrition in Africa, a coalition of Africans states committed to a Cooperation Framework for Food Security on the continent. The AFT contributes to better food security in Africa by helping to improve the infrastructure for agriculture.