Background and Objectives
The Agriculture Fast Track Fund (AFT) is a new multi-donor trust fund managed by the African Development Bank with funding support from the US government represented by USAID (US$ 12 million), the Danish Government represented by DANIDA (US$ 1.8 million) and the Swedish Government represented by Sida (US$ 10 million). It was launched on 8 May 2013 with initial funding amounting to US$ 23.80 million. AFT is housed at the Agriculture and Agro-Industry department (OSAN) of the African Development Bank.
Areas of Focus / Sub-Sectors
The AFT will provide grant funding for the initial project development costs of a broad range of agriculture infrastructure projects spanning the entire value chain – from production to market. These can emanate from the private or public sector and from local or international businesses. The types of projects envisioned range from rural feeder roads to agro-processing and marketing facilities to out-grower schemes. The emphasis will be on projects that contribute to food security and support to smallholders.
The AFT can provide support including, but not limited to:
- An environmental/hydrological study for an irrigation system that would support smallholder crop production.
- A marketing plan for an agro-processing facility supported by a nucleus farm and corresponding out-grower scheme, which will create stronger market linkages for smallholders. This would include crops, livestock and fishery products.
- Financial Modeling for a joint venture to establish a crop/ livestock/ fishery products – processing operation focused on smallholder farmers that produce high-quality flour for the domestic market.
- An engineering study for the construction of an extraction and refining centre; a centre which would provide inputs and training to allow new smallholder farmers to enter the supply chain.
Agriculture Fast Track Fund has initiated its activity covering 10 African states who are members of the New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition in Africa: Benin, Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, Ethiopia, Ghana, Malawi, Mozambique, Nigeria, Senegal and Tanzania. The countries that have entered into agreement with the G8 to refine their policies in order to improve investment opportunities and accelerate the implementation of their country‐led Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP) plans on food security.
The AFT will be extended to other countries joining the New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition, thus establishing a Cooperation Framework for Food Security and demonstrating commitment in agreement with the G20 countries in order to improve investment opportunities.
Administration and Governance Structure
- Coordination Unit: Responsible for the mandate of the AFT and its daily operations.
- Technical Review Committee: Ensures all proposals meet or exceed the technical, safeguard and fiduciary quality standards of the Bank. Approves grants up to US $500,000.
- Oversight Committee: Comprised of representatives from all contributing donors and responsible for general policy direction of the facility. Approves grants between US $500,000 to US $1,000,000.