At least 70 thousand households will benefit from the flagship Rice Value Chain Project introduced by the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) in Niger Republic. The Rice Value Chain Programme is an ambitious project that will help IsDB member countries to achieve self-sufficiency in food production, alleviate poverty and create employment for youth, women and build the capacity of farmers.
During the third leg of his tour to West Africa, the President of IsDB Group, Dr. Bandar Hajjar signed US $15.26 million agreement with the Government of Niger on the Rice Value Chain Project following the approval of the programme by the Board of Executive Directors. 10 countries in Sub-Saharan Africa are expected to benefit from the project. The countries are Benin, Burkina Faso, Cote D’Ivoire, Guinea, Gambia, Mali, Niger, Sierra Leone, Senegal and Sudan.
The Rice Value Chain Project is very important for Niger Republic, because agriculture is the major sector of the economy constituting 40 percent of the country’s GDP. 80 percent of the population in Niger earn their livelihood through agriculture. Upon completion, the project has the potential to reduce current annual imports of 492,000 tons that is costing the country US$ 214 million by 30 percent. The Rice Value Chain Project will be implemented in Dosso, Niamey and Tillaberi. The project will include the construction of 10 storage facilities for fertilizer, seed, two rice conditioning facilities, five rice processing plants, 40 rice drying areas and two parboiling processing facilities.
The President of the IsDB Group, Dr. Bandar Hajjar said: “The Islamic Development Bank Group is proud to join hands with the Government of Niger to contribute in delivering on the "Niger Promise". The objective of this visit is to discuss some of IsDB Group products and services, raise awareness of IsDB Group in Niger, promote the centrality of Science, Technology and Innovation in the economic transformation process of Niger, as well as strengthen the cooperation between Niger and all IsDB Group entities”.
Niger Republic is a founding member of IsDB Group. It joined the bank in 1975. IsDB Group has committed about US$829 million in project and trade financing operations in various sectors of the Niger economy.