MasterCard Foundation Investing $47M in Agricultural Finance Projects Across Africa
Tuesday, October 6, 2015
The Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) has commended the MasterCard Foundation's pronouncement of investing $47 million in agricultural finance projects across Africa, including $15 million for a partnership with AGRA that will deliver financial support to 730,000 farming households.
AGRA's President Dr. Agnes Kalibata while speaking Thursday in Lusaka, Zambia at the MasterCard Foundation Award Ceremony, said the initiative is well-aligned with AGRA's goal of ensuring smallholder farmers have access to finance and information to buy farm inputs, invest in post-harvest technologies, and pay for storage facilities for their crops.
Dr. Agnes Kalibata added that "by focusing on improving financial inclusion, the Foundation is definitely addressing one of the weakest links in African agricultural systems."
AGRA boss said Africa cannot develop with its large population excluded financially, adding that what the continent needs is financial solutions tailored to the need of the farmers, "not that African farmers cannot produce but they lack the financial means."
She called on financial institutions to understand some challenges in the African society while trying to encourage financial solutions to agriculture, "in our culture we were all brought up to be self reliant… to the extent that borrowing can feel almost like a crime," she said.