Italy and ADB grant €990,000 for agro-processing
London, 25 Jun (AIM) – The African Development Bank (ADB) and the Italian Technical Cooperation Fund on 24 June announced that a grant of €990,000 has been awarded to help small agro-processing enterprises in Mozambique boost production and quality control.
The programme will be implemented by the Confederation of Mozambican Business Associations (CTA) and will help businesses enter into the national and continental markets and capitalise on the opportunities created by the African Continental Free Trade Area.
Speaking at the signing ceremony, CTA President Agostinho Vuma, explained that the programme will benefit about 300 businesses, particularly small and medium sized enterprises led by women and young people operating along the Nacala, Beira and Pemba-Lichinga development corridors.
The project will address one of the major problems faced by small scale producers and processors who wish to trade beyond their local markets – which is their lack of certification. According to the Italian ambassador to Mozambique, Gianni Bardini, it will act as a catalyst to extend the private sector which has “a huge and largely untapped potential”.
The project is also designed to tackle the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic. According to Pietro Toigo, the ADB representative in Mozambique, “we are pleased to partner with the CTA and the government of Italy to support Mozambican small and medium sized enterprises recover from the Covid pandemic and scale up their competitiveness, as part of the ADB’s commitment to help industrialise Mozambique and Africa”.
Mozambique’s Minister of Industry and Trade, Carlos Mesquita, welcomed the initiative, stressing its “catalytic role in promoting Mozambique’s agricultural modernisation and the industrialisation of critical sectors of the economy”.
The project supports the goals of the African Development Bank’s Country Strategy Paper for Mozambique 2018-2022, which focuses on two strategic pillars: infrastructure investments that enable transformative inclusive growth and job creation; and agricultural transformation and value chain development.
The African Development Bank financed its first project in Mozambique in 1977 and since then has focused on supporting projects covering agriculture, transport, water and sanitation, energy, communications, mining, and finance.