Govt concludes talks with AfDB over agriculture value chain funding

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TINASHE MAKICHI

Government has concluded negotiations with the African Development Bank for the funding of an agricultural value chain development project, which is expected to be approved by the continental bank before year end.

This was said by Minister of Finance and Economic Planning, Mthuli Ncube during the signing of a $1,4 million grant for innovative solutions to support livelihood of vulnerable communities project being financed from the TSF Pillar III grant to finance livelihood activities.

“It is worthwhile to note that this signing ceremony comes barely a week after government and the AfDB concluded negotiations for another upcoming project termed, “Agricultural Value Chain Development Project,” expected to be approved before year end,” said Ncube.

He said the newly signed $1,4 million grant is expected to provide enablers for self-reliance and social empowerment , through training and financing start up for small enterprises, create jobs and income generation and improve conditions to support the use on innovative technologies for improved living standards.

The overall goals of the $1,4 million project is to enhance economic livelihoods and technical capacity of vulnerable groups, targeting refugees and host communities through the adoption of innovative solutions to build resilience and ensure greater self-reliance and social empowerment.

Ncube noted that this programme is in sync with national priorities of economic development, job creation and reducing poverty.

“This immense support demonstrates the commitment the Bank and other development partners have towards social and economic development of our country and Africa in general.

“In return, I would like to assure the Bank that Zimbabwe will effectively and efficiently utilise the availed resources for the benefit of its people,” said Ncube.

The target beneficiaries are estimated at 17 000 refugees residing within the Tongogara Refugee Camp in the Eastern Highlands of Zimbabwe. The project will be implemented over a period of 27 months with a starting and ending date still to be revised from June 2018 up to August 2020 having been initially proposed.

AfDB country manager in Zimbabwe Damoni Kitabire said this funding will go a long way in improving lives.

“On behalf of the AfDB president, its a pleasure to be signing this grant and this is a noble move. AfDB is here to stay in Zimbabwe. We look forward to enhanced corporation with the Government of Zimbabwe,” said Kitabire.