Washington — The World Bank Board of Executive Directors today approved a US$20 million International Development Association (IDA)* credit to provide agricultural support to 150,000 smallholder farmers in Senegal.
Today's approval is an additional funding to the second phase of the West Africa Agricultural Productivity Program (WAAPP-2A) which aims to strengthen the national certified seeds production and marketing system for groundnut. The project will scale-up the generation, dissemination and adoption of improved technologies in the Senegal's priority agricultural commodity areas, bringing the total number of project beneficiaries to 850,000, of which 40% are women.
"Agriculture remains a key sector of Senegal's economy, as it accounts for two-thirds of export revenues and is the basis for food and livelihood for close to 70 percent of the rural population. Within the agriculture sector, the groundnut value chain plays a key role in the country's economy. The commodity is grown by some 480,000 rural households or 65 percent of the farming population", said Louise Cord, World Bank Country Director for Senegal. However, she added, "the productivity is weak, because the agricultural sector is contributing only about 17% to the GDP while more than 40% of the population is employed in the sector."
"The World Bank Group wants to give a critical support to the country in order to rebuild competitiveness and successfully implement a difficult process to select new strategic investors for SUNEOR, the largest groundnut oil industry," Cord added.
The project will further promote mutual accountability by using a participatory and pro-active decision-making approach, working closely with the inter-ministerial committee in charge of the SUNEOR restructuring to build consensus along the whole transaction process.
According to Aifa Fatimata Ndoye Niane, Senior Agriculture Economist and World Bank task team leader, "the project will support the Government of Senegal to design a new groundnut value chain development strategy as well as preparing a longer-term program aimed at diversifying economic activities of the groundnut producing areas."
Niane added that the agricultural enterprises census including the agricultural organizations and cooperatives, will also be done with the additional financing.
* The World Bank's International Development Association (IDA), established in 1960, helps the world's poorest countries by providing grants and low to zero-interest loans for projects and programs that boost economic growth, reduce poverty, and improve poor people's lives. IDA is one of the largest sources of assistance for the world's 77 poorest countries, 39 of which are in Africa. Resources from IDA bring positive change to the 1.3 billion people who live in IDA countries. Since 1960, IDA has supported development work in 112 countries. Annual commitments have averaged about $19 billion over the last three years, with about 50 percent going to Africa.