By Prossy Nandudu
Development partners should consider longer-term financing of agriculture projects. This is because short-term financing has less effect on the farming community and at the same time increases the debt burden, said President of AGRA Africa, Dr Agnes Kalibata.
Dr Kalibata was speaking on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly Food Forum that took place in New York between 18 and 19, September 2023.
Kalibata explained that for Africa’s agriculture to develop, funders should consider long-term, viable and valuable financing.
She said that while still a minister of Agriculture in Rwanda, whenever they would be given a loan of $50m for agriculture, she would ask the team to divide by the population, and the result would be very minimal.
“Every time we got a loan of say $50m to fund agriculture for like 10 years, I would ask them to divide the money by then 13 million people and the per capita investment would result into 0.000001 for, which creates zero impact in the end, but the debt continues to pile,” said Kalibata.
She added that currently most African countries, about 65% are grappling with debt and called for a different transformation plan to be able to feed the population, and create jobs for the 77% of Africa’s youngest population whose average age is about 35 years.
PHOTO CAPTION: Dr Agnes Kalibata, the President of AGRA Africa addressing participates at the UNGA summit in New York. Photo by Prossy Nandudu