Smallholder farmers and rural cooperatives across Zambia will benefit from a new EUR 30 million initiative to accelerate agricultural investment launched in Lusaka and Luxembourg. This initiative will improve agricultural productivity, upgrade agricultural processing, and support a sector severely impacted by COVID-19 challenges and is supported by a best-practice assistance program.
The financing scheme will be managed by Zanaco and is backed by the European Union and European Investment Bank, as part of the broader Team Europe support for sustainable commercialisation of Zambian smallholder farmers. This represents the first targeted support for agriculture in Zambia by the European Investment Bank, the world’s largest international public bank.
The commitment of the European Union and the European Investment Bank’s first cooperation with Zanaco, entails a new EUR 15 million credit line supporting EUR 30 million of new investment. At the Lusaka launch last month the national importance of unlocking agricultural investment for Zambia, by improving access to long-term financing, was further highlighted by Cecilia Kamanga, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Agriculture and Central Bank Governor Dr. Denny Kalyalya. Mukwandi Chibesakunda, Zanaco Chief Executive Officer, who announced details of the new targeted support for agricultural investment and engagement of Zanaco teams across the country to roll-out the new initiative.
“Zanaco is committed to building on our track-record of supporting agriculture across Zambia by improving access to finance, sharing best practice and innovation to unlock investment across the sector. Zanaco is pleased to join forces with the European Investment Bank to roll out Team Europe’s first dedicated support for agriculture in our country. This new partnership will unlock agricultural investment, create employment and unlock economic growth in Zambia in the years ahead,” said Mukwandi Chibesakunda, Chief Executive Officer of Zanaco.
“Today we’re cementing the strong bond between the EU and Zambia. Team Europe, including the European Commission, has supported Zambia in its COVID-19 response with nearly EUR 58 million. And as we exit the pandemic, Team Europe is ready to further support the country on its journey to a green, sustainable and inclusive recovery. The EUR 15 million credit line signed will allow smallholder farmers and agricultural businesses to adapt to climate change. It will create jobs, make farmers more resilient, and have an impact on thousands of lives,” said Jutta Urpilainen, European Commissioner for International Partnerships.
“Agriculture is crucial for economic activity and social development in rural communities across Zambia. This new EUR 30 million scheme will accelerate investment by smallholders and agriculture companies through increased access to finance. The first ever Team Europe cooperation between the European Investment Bank, European Union and Zanaco, will unlock a better future and create employment opportunities throughout the sector and be supported by sharing best-practice agricultural, gender and financial expertise. Together Team Europe and Zanaco are ensuring that smallholders tackling business challenges related to COVID-19, can expand business and create opportunities and have a more secure future in the years ahead. The new Zambian initiative follows the successful launch of Team Europe support for agricultural investment in Malawi and Kenya and we look forward to launching similar schemes elsewhere in Africa.” said Thomas Östros, European Investment Bank Vice President.
“The European Union strongly supports Zambia’s green recovery, inclusive and sustainable growth agenda. The new “Agriculture Value Chain Facility” will help farmers to get long-term and affordable financing. This will make it easier for agri-businesses and smallholder farmers alike to access domestic and regional markets and to improve the livelihoods of people.” said H.E. Ambassador Jacek Jankovski, Head of the European Union Delegation to Zambia.
For more information on this initiative visit www.zanaco.co.zm