By Tinishu Solomon |

The World Bank has extended a $350 million loan to Ethiopia to assist the Horn of Africa country’s small holder farmers. The loan will go to the country’s Second Agricultural Growth Project (AGP2).

Finance and Economics minister Ahmed Shide, and World Bank country representative Guang Zhe Chen, signed the agreement on Thursday.

The program intends to increase agricultural productivity and enhance market access for smallholder farmers in more than 157 of Ethiopia’s rural districts.

The first programme benefited communities in 96 Woredas through the construction of irrigation, feeder roads, footbridges and market centers, among others.

Shide said the primary target of the AGP II would be smallholder farmers who live in areas with the highest potential for agricultural growth.

“Supporting targeted areas with the highest potential for the production of agricultural commodities can stimulate agro-processing in the country,” he said.

Guang said AGP2 “will directly benefit 1.6 million smallholder farmers”.

Agricultural growth was a key driver of the impressive rate of poverty reduction over the past decade, according to the World Bank’s 2014 Poverty Assessment for Ethiopia.

The bank indicated that the new finance will further boost the development potential of Ethiopia’s agriculture industry which accounts for 45 percent of the country’s total output and employs nearly 80 percent of the nation’s labor force.

Source: The Africa Report


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