In the recently released 2023 Trust Fund Annual Report, the Global Agriculture and Food Security Program (GAFSP) is highlighted, showcasing its pivotal role in promoting resilient and sustainable agriculture and food systems in low-income countries.
Financial Intermediary Funds (FIFs) emerge as key contributors to addressing the drivers and impacts of Fragility, Conflict, and Violence (FCV), particularly benefitting vulnerable and marginalized populations. The World Bank, serving as the implementing entity for GAFSP, hosts its secretariat, highlighting the program's commitment to addressing challenges both in times of crisis and beyond.
One notable initiative propelled by GAFSP is the West Africa Food System Resilience Program, a collaborative effort with co-financing from GAFSP. This program supports the second phase of Burkina Faso’s National Rural Sector Program, focusing on 125 communes across nine regions with high agricultural potential and favorable climate conditions. The broader regional strategy aims to enhance agricultural productivity through climate-smart agriculture, promote intraregional value chains and trade, and build capacity to manage agricultural and food insecurity risks.
Ethiopia, too, has benefited significantly from Trust Fund financing, particularly through the GAFSP Private Sector Window. Cooperative farming networks have been established to foster economies of scale, enhance product quality, and streamline supply chains. Soufflet Malt Ethiopia, advised by the International Finance Corporation (IFC) with GAFSP co-financing, has played a leading role in this transformation.
The Soufflet project has resulted in increased access to improved seed varieties for farmers, the establishment of contract farming through aggregators, and innovative farmer financing models. By June 2023, Soufflet's annual grain purchases from the local market exceeded 88,000 tons—more than double the initial target. The combined sales revenue of nearly 80,000 farmers witnessed a remarkable increase to $87.5 million, saving an estimated $50 million in annual imports for Ethiopia.
In West Africa, GAFSP co-financing continues to bolster regional capacity for managing agricultural and food insecurity risks. By promoting climate-smart agricultural practices and fostering increased intraregional trade, GAFSP contributes significantly to the region's sustainable development goals.
As the world faces ongoing challenges, GAFSP remains at the forefront of initiatives that not only address immediate crises but also lay the foundation for resilient and sustainable agricultural systems in the years to come.