Congo

World Bank approves US$20 million for agricultural development in Congo Brazzaville

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Press Release No:2007/426/AFR

WASHINGTON, June 5, 2007 - The World Bank Board of Executive Directors today approved an International Development Association (IDA) grant of US$20 million to finance an Agricultural Development and Rural Roads Rehabilitation Project (ADRRP) in Congo.

The objective of the project - the first to be funded by the World Bank in the agricultural sector in Congo since the 1990s - is to assist the Republic of Congo in increasing the ability of the rural poor to raise their income through the use of improved agricultural technologies, the provision of market infrastructure, and the formulation and implementation of poverty-focused agricultural policies and expenditure programs.

The project will be implemented over a five-year period, with total financing of US$40 million, which includes US$20 million in co-financing from the Government of Congo.

It is consistent with the objectives of the Interim Poverty Reduction Strategy (I-PRSP) which include increasing public investment in agriculture and rural development as a means of alleviating poverty and contributing towards the achievement of the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) of reducing poverty in half and alleviating extreme hunger.

A first component of the project (US$4.71 million) will help strengthen the capacity of the ministry of agriculture, fisheries and livestock to implement pro-poor policies and ensure efficient and effective management of investment programs in the sector.

The second component of the project (US$15.94 million) will focus on the rehabilitation of rural roads and construction and rehabilitation of rural market infrastructure - in view of expanding the chance for rural farmers to earn income from their production - and gain access to affordable agricultural inputs.

The third component (US$7.6 million) will help rural producers, especially subsistence-oriented farmers, to raise their productivity and the income they generate from agriculture. The typical activities to be funded under this component would include the generation and dissemination of improved production technologies and market information and the strengthening of the capacity of producer organizations.

The fourth component (US$4.7 million) will be devoted to ensuring the effective management and coordination of project activities, including through the establishment of four regional implementation units to support and coordinate field operations, prepare and consolidate work programs and annual budgets, and help focus on results.

The Agricultural Development and Rural Roads Rehabilitation Project (ADRRP) will focus on eight of the ten administrative departments of the country.

For more information on World Bank activities in sub-Saharan Africa, please visit: http://www.worldbank.org/afr

For more information about the World Bank's work in Congo, please visit: http://www.worldank.org/congo

For more information about this project visit: http://web.worldbank.org/external/projects/main?pagePK=64283627&piPK=73230&theSitePK=349199&menuPK=349247&Projectid=P095251

Contacts:

In Washington: Herbert Boh +1 (202) 473-3548
hboh@worldbank.org

In Brazzaville: Clementine Maoungou + 242-663-1970 - Ext 383
cmaoungou@worldbank.org