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OPEC Fund’s US$30 million loan to Uganda will enhance productivity for smallholder farmers
July 29, 2021: The OPEC Fund for International Development has signed a US$30 million loan agreement with Uganda to help improve food security and incomes for more than 120,000 smallholder households in the northern and north-eastern regions engaged in the production and marketing of oil seeds (groundnuts, sunflower, sesame and soy). The ‘National Oil Seeds Project’ is co-financed by the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and the Ugandan government.
The Ugandan government’s latest Agricultural Sector Strategic Plan highlights oil seeds as part of the four strategic commodities expected to lead the transformation of the smallholder sector from subsistence to commercial farming.
Within the framework of this plan, the OPEC Fund’s financing will be used to develop infrastructure across 53 beneficiary districts and support the operations of approximately 200 oils seed clusters. Works will include construction and rehabilitation of 2,500 km of roads situated in and around the oil seed clusters and installation of drainage structures, as well as road water harvesting mechanisms for crop and livestock watering.
It is anticipated that circa 60 percent of the beneficiaries will be women. Young people between the ages of 18 and 35 will be involved in the project as producers, entrepreneurs and small-scale processors by providing them with various incentives such as access to farm machinery and agricultural training.
OPEC Fund Director-General Dr. Abdulhamid Alkhalifa said: “As Uganda recovers from disruptions related to Covid-19, agriculture becomes increasingly significant for the livelihood of the Ugandan people. The OPEC Fund is pleased to partner with IFAD and the government of Uganda to support this project, which will enhance agricultural resilience and improve food security.”
Including the present loan, the OPEC Fund has committed more than US$221 million to Uganda under its public and private sector and trade finance lending operations. The funding has supported Uganda’s agriculture, energy, financial (SMEs), transportation, education and health sectors.
About the OPEC Fund
The OPEC Fund for International Development (the OPEC Fund) is the only globally mandated development institution that provides financing from member countries to non-member countries exclusively. The organization works in cooperation with developing country partners and the international development community to stimulate economic growth and social progress in low- and middle-income countries around the world. The OPEC Fund was established by the member countries of OPEC in 1976 with a distinct purpose: to drive development, strengthen communities and empower people. Our work is people-centered, focusing on financing projects that meet essential needs, such as food, energy, infrastructure, employment (particularly relating to MSMEs), clean water and sanitation, healthcare and education. To date, the OPEC Fund has committed more than US$22 billion to development projects in over 125 countries with an estimated total project cost of US$187 billion. Our vision is a world where sustainable development is a reality for all.