IFC and WFP set to finance smallholder farmers in Rwanda and Tanzania
RWANDA/TANZANIA- A Press release from World Food Program (WFP) has confirmed that “the International Finance Corporation (IFC) and the Global Agriculture and Food Security Program (GAFSP) are launching smallholder farmer financing programs…” These programs, according to report, are designed to improve food security among vulnerable people in Rwanda and Tanzania.
The need for this arises because studies have shown that small scale farmers produce most of the world’s food, but form the majority of people with little or no food on the table. According to the Executive Director of WFP, David Beasley: “Smallholder farmers produce most of the world’s food, but they form the majority of people living in poverty and often have food security challenges themselves.”
Therefore, these initiatives with KCB Bank Rwanda Limited and CRDB Bank PLC in Tanzania are part of the Farm to Market Alliance, a multi-stakeholder platform established in 2016. In addition, the 2016 founded Farm to Market Alliance of which IFC and WFP are global members is to create agriculture value chains that secure sizeable local and international demand for produce from smallholder farmers.
Furthermore, the Alliance is designed to create systemic change in markets through a holistic approach to smallholder development. This approach, according to report, must be sustainable and commercially viable, it must benefit individual farmers and broadens the global supply base of agricultural produce to meet increasing demand.
“We want to help them get better access to markets so they build more demand for their products, thus making a long-term impact on the economic future for them and their families. But WFP can’t do it alone, and that’s why we are grateful for our collaboration with others through the Farm to Market Alliance,” the Director noted.
Also according to the CEO of IFC, Philippe Le Houérou: “Agribusiness drives many African economies and creates most jobs on the continent.” So, “Through the Farm to Market Alliance,” IFC will create “new markets—by connecting smallholder farmers in Sub-Saharan Africa directly with buyers. The result will be an improve in productivity and higher living standards for people in rural areas.”
Correspondent: Ridwan A. Olayiwola