Rome, 3 August 2012 — The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) will provide a loan of US$33 million and a grant of $2 million to the Republic of Madagascar to finance the Vocational Training and Agricultural Productivity Improvement Programme (FORMAPROD). In addition, an €14.29 million loan will be extended for the same programme from the Spanish Food Security Co-financing Facility Trust Fund.
Hery Rajaonarimampianina, Minister of Finance and Budget of the Republic of Madagascar, and Kanayo F. Nwanze, President of IFAD, signed the financing agreement today.
Agriculture as a key economic sector in Madagascar, accounts for almost 30 per cent of the Gross Domestic Product, 40 per cent of export earnings, and employs more than 70 per cent of the labor force. Ensuring full potential of the agriculture sector and increasing rural standards of living remain as critical challenges for the government. The performance of this sector has fallen behind in coping with the growing population and poverty reduction in rural areas. Madagascar's agriculture is also highly vulnerable to severe climatic conditions.
The new programme aims to increase the incomes of smallholder farmers. Young rural people will receive vocational training to help increase agricultural productivity and develop rural microenterprises. These farmers will also learn storage methods and processing of agricultural products.
The programme will link to all current IFAD-supported projects in the country to identify and train young farmers, agricultural technicians and extensions agents.
More than 110,000 rural vulnerable households will benefit directly from the programme, especially young men and women who are heads of households. In partnership with the OPEC Fund for International Development, the "Agence Française de Développement", the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization and the Government of Madagascar, the programme will be implemented in 13 regions of the country.
With this new programme, IFAD will have financed 14 programmes and projects in Madagascar for a total investment of $217.3 million benefiting 636,600 households.