A boy works at peeling a mountain of cassava in Nigeria (photo credit: ILRI/Mann).
The Alliance for a Green Revolution for Africa and its partners are committing US$42 million to a markets program that will connect smallholder farmers to local, regional, and international markets, this press release reports.
The markets’ program is currently overseeing US$14 million in investments through 17 projects in six African countries, expected to directly benefit over half a million farmers.
Bolstered by the program’s success in its initial three years and an increasing demand for market services, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the Rockefeller Foundation, the Swedish government, and the Danish International Development Agency have joined AGRA in this latest initiative. About 4.9 million farmers living across 13 countries are to be initially targeted by the program.
The program aims to improve the market infrastructure for many of Africa’s core food staples–cassava, maize, millet, rice, sorghum and grain legumes–most of which have not been considered as income generating crops in the past.
Africa’s regional market for food staples is for example valued at US$150 billion and demand is expected to double by 2020. African farmers could substantially increase their income simply by meeting this domestic demand.
Included in the new program is boosting markets for cassava for animal feed.
Read the news release at the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa: Boosting farmer incomes by improving markets of staple food crops, 14 December 2010.