Dakar, Senegal – The Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI) and the La Banque Agricole (LBA) signed a second Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to expand areas of cooperation on Climate-Smart Agriculture on February 22, 2023. Agriculture is one of the most important sectors in Senegal. Around 30% of the population works in the sector accounting for 15% of Senegal’s GDP in 2020. And both institutes are committed to supporting Senegal’s agricultural transformation through this strategic cooperation.
During the MoU signing ceremony, the Director General of LBA commended GGGI for its strong partnership with LBA for many years and confirmed LBA’s commitment to be a strategic partner of GGGI to support in delivering inclusive, sustainable agriculture development.
The Country Representative of GGGI Senegal, Ms. Assana Magagi-Alio, also highlighted the importance of the partnership with LBA, an accredited entity to the Green Climate Fund (GCF), duly licensed for funding activities in Senegal with adequate experience and a soundtrack record in dealing with rice farmers in the Senegal River Valley while playing a pivotal role in financing the rice value chain.
The partnership aims to strengthen access to green finance for smallholder farmers. GGGI and LBA will develop innovative ways to use climate finance to improve and increase access to finance for smallholder farmers while building resilience, including designing mechanisms to leverage both public and private capital for climate-smart agriculture investments.
GGGI and LBA will, under this Agreement, strengthen their cooperation in implementing the Solar-powered Irrigation Project for Climate-Smart Agriculture in the Delta and the Senegal River. The Project, funded by the Qatar Fund for Development and implemented by GGGI, aims to support rice farmers to switch from electric-powered irrigation pumps to solar-powered ones and transition to climate-smart agriculture (CSA) practices through the introduction of CSA pilots over 1,800 hectares and the training of 3,000 farmers on CSA practices and mobilizing finance to scale up solar irrigation and CSA practices. LBA has already provided USD 4,004,344 in loans combined with USD 45,530 in grants facilitated by the Project to help set up a rice CSA pilot of 668 hectares for 2022, resulting in a 20% yield increase.
To ensure the efficient implementation of the new MoU, GGGI, and LBA agreed to constitute a Monitoring and Evaluation Committee. As part of the Agreement, the Committee will develop a work plan to ensure oversight and regular monitoring of its joint activities.
Assana Magagi-Alio, Country Representative, Senegal