Monze, Zambia, November 25, 2009 –
Zambian President Rupiah Banda has officially opened the country’s planting season at a maize and dairy farm supported by an IFC project that is helping Zambian farmers access the finance and skills they need to boost their productivity. IFC is a member of the World Bank Group.
IFC’s Zambia Emergent Farmer Finance and Support Program provides access to finance, technical support, and business training to 50 Zambian farmers, helping them become sustainable commercial farmers who produce high-quality products. The program, launched in 2008, expects by 2013 to support 300 farmers with training and $30 million in financing.
The planting ceremony welcomed hundreds of farmers from the region to a farm in Zambia’s Southern Province run by Loti Chiluli, who has more than doubled his output thanks to support from IFC and IFC’s partners.
Saleem Karimjee, IFC Country Manager for Zambia, said, “IFC can deploy a comprehensive package of investment and advisory services to farmers who have the potential to grow and diversify their enterprises. Agriculture contributes almost a quarter of Africa’s GDP and employs about 70 percent of the working population. It is an extremely important sector for Africa and IFC wants to provide more support for it.”
IFC is increasing support for African agribusiness in response to growing demand and rising prices for basic crops, which threaten to send millions back into poverty. IFC’s direct investments and investments through financial intermediaries into African agribusiness companies reached $160 million in FY09.
IFC launched the Africa Agriculture Finance Project (AAFP) in September, 2009 to support farmers across sub-Saharan Africa .The Zambia program was the first project to be rolled out under the AAFP.
To support farmers in Zambia, IFC has partnered with the Zambia National Farmers Union, Zambia National Commercial Bank, and Rabobank of Holland. IFC is also working with donors and private sector firms, including the Conservation Farming Unit, USAID Profit, Omnia Fertilizer Ltd, Prime Agri Center, the Zambia Development Agency, Madison General, and the Zambia Chamber of Small and Medium Business Associations.
IFC is the only international financial institution focused exclusively on the private sector, the engine of sustainable development in emerging markets. Along with IBRD, IFC is currently seeking a capital increase to strengthen its ability to create opportunity for the poor in developing countries—including supporting the growth of Africa’s important agriculture sector.
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, creates opportunity for people to escape poverty and improve their lives. We foster sustainable economic growth in developing countries by supporting private sector development, mobilizing private capital, and providing advisory and risk mitigation services to businesses and governments. Our new investments totaled $14.5 billion in fiscal 2009, helping channel capital into developing countries during the financial crisis. For more information, visit