Norwegian agricultural firm Yara International has embarked on a US $ 65 m project for the development of agriculture in the Agricultural Growth Corridors of Africa, which will be located in Southern and Eastern Africa and will support the fast tracking of the development of agriculture to enhance economic growth in the regions.
Yara International is a plant nutrients company that converts energy, natural minerals and nitrogen from the air into essential products for farmers and industrial customers.
According to a statement sent to The New Times, Yara is building on its core business and working towards sustainable agricultural business development in Africa and worldwide.
Yara is the world’s largest supplier of mineral fertilizers.
The firm and its partners are set to unveil a new development initiative that will bring prosperity and food security to millions of Africans at the forthcoming World Economic Forum on Africa that gets underway tomorrow in South Africa.
This new investment strategy is aimed at driving economic growth whilst at the same time supporting sustainable agricultural development.
The programme is supported by the United States President Barack Obama, South Africa’s first black President Nelson Mandela and former UN chief Kofi Annan.
The World Economic Forum, will feature over 800 participants from 50 countries. The meeting would facilitate discussions among leaders on the immediate problems the global economic crisis poses to Africa.
The forum will also allow leaders to fully explore the unique opportunities that Africa has on its doorstep in the new global arena. The impact of the food crisis and the current financial crisis on Africa reminded the world of the importance of investing in African agriculture.
This lead to Yara and othere international actors, such as the World Bank and the African Development Bank, AGRA, InfraCo, ProRustica as well the Norwegian, Mozambican and Tanzanian governments to come together to announce a new investment initiative to boost the development of agriculture to enhance food security and economic growth in Africa.
This concept will be driven by actual large scale investments in a number of economic activities along a strengthened infrastructural route.
A $65m investment by Yara International to build bulk fertiliser terminals in key African ports in Tanzania and Mozambique will improve port efficiencies for agricultural inputs, which are crucial for boosting small scale farmer agricultural growth and increasing productivity.
This investment will also improve access to markets throughout the sub-region. Statistics have shown that Africa is the only region in the world where hunger is worsening despite the fact that farmers represent two thirds of Africa’s population hence the need for such an investment.
The blueprint for the Agricultural Growth Corridor will be finalised in November 2009, after input from all relevant stakeholders.
This will be followed by the mobilising of activity in autumn 2009 around the second Agricultural Growth Corridor planed in Tanzania.