AGRA and SIDA Sign $10 Million Grant at AGRA Forum to Boost Africa-Based Agricultural Entrepreneurs

An agreement between the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida), and the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA), was formalized at a signing ceremony at the AGRA Forum 2012 last week. The US$10 million grant from Sida is aimed to boost African agricultural growth through the development of African-based innovations. 

"These projects benefit millions of Africa's rural poor in very practical ways such as jobs, increased income, knowledge transfer and market access." said Jane Karuku President of AGRA at the Forum. 

The grant is part of SIDA's programme area focused on inclusive business and pro-poor economic growth, with investments that must significantly contribute to poverty reduction and rural development. The grant is expected to benefit at least an additional 60,000 households (300,000 people) with extra income, employment, market access and transfer of know-how.

"We know that a more effective and professional agriculture sector can make a real difference for millions of people living in poverty in sub-Saharan Africa," said Henrik Riby, representative of SIDA. "By sharing the financial risks of private investments in agribusiness, we hope to encourage new sustainable ways of raising rural incomes."

The grant, awarded by Sida, will be directly channeled to the African Agribusiness Window of African Enterprise Challenge Fund (AECF), a fund hosted by AGRA. Administered by the AECF, the grant will enable Africa-based entrepreneurs to submit new and innovative business solutions to accelerate the development of the agricultural sector in Africa.

Between 10-12 winners will be selected and provided with funding to develop their ideas into practical projects that are both commercially viable and will have a broad developmental impact on the rural poor. The projects will have a significant focus on the empowerment of women and environmental sustainability.

The signing ceremony was formalized by Mr. Henrik Riby and Mrs Jane Karuku.  

Read more on the signing ceremony in the original press release from AGRA. 

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