Global Agriculture & Food Security Program
FY2016 Funding Recommendation:
President's FY2016 Request
InterAction's FY2016 Recommendation
The Global Agriculture and Food Security Program (GAFSP), a trust fund managed by the World Bank, provides predictable, transparent, long-term investments to increase agricultural production, link farmers to markets, reduce risk and vulnerability, improve rural livelihoods, and provide technical assistance to governments. GAFSP expects that current and planned projects will help over 12 million smallholder farmers and their families improve their income and food security.
Smallholder farmers are the largest private sector investors in developing country agriculture, and targeted public investments remain critical to supporting them in reaching their productive potential.
In October 2012, the U.S. pledged up to $475 million over the next three years (FY2014-16), with the intention that for each dollar the U.S. contributes, other donors would contribute two. This pledge was meant to leverage donations from other donor countries, as U.S. contributions to GAFSP have successfully done in the past. At the time that the President’s FY2015 budget was released, however, not enough additional donors had contributed for the U.S. to maintain its contributions at only one-third of total contributions.
As a result, funding for GAFSP was not included in the President’s FY2015 budget request or the final FY2015 appropriations bill. Authority to spend funds out of “Bilateral Economic Assistance” was included in the State-Foreign Operations portion of the overall FY2016 spending bill, conditional upon additional donor funding, and with a 33% cap on the U.S. share of total contributions. As it is expected that additional donors will be secured by FY2016, the recommended FY2016 funding level of $158.3 million is consistent with one-third of the overall pledge.
Modern technology helps workers in Togo
In Togo, an innovative business competition fund is helping jumpstart enterprises in the agricultural sector. One of the recipients is Ave Palm, a palm oil production facility that now employs 240 female workers. Over two-thirds of Togo’s population works in the agricultural sector, but most producers earn very little because of lack of financing and modern technology. This is changing with the rise of new enterprises like Ave Palm that invests in equipment and training to create more jobs for female producers.
Yama, a worker at Ave Palm, observes that “We used to have to remove the stalks to extract the palm kernels by hand, and we would always get cuts on our fingers from the thorns. Then we had to grind the kernels in a mortar and manually extract the raw palm oil; all of that took a lot of time. Today, with this new equipment, we are able to do a week's worth of work practically in a single day and our fingers are now lovely to look at.”
Another worker, Adjonon, says that the income she's earned has enabled her to pay for food, medicines, and school supplies for her children, and has made her more financially independent.
The support for these innovative local businesses comes from the Global Agricultural and Food Security Program (GAFSP), a multilateral trust fund with support from the United States. GAFSP’s $39 million grant has allowed Togo to invest in rural infrastructure, food processing facilities, seeds and fertilizer kits, and training for smallholder farmers, along with the competitive fund that supports local enterprises, like Ave Palm, that promote entrepreneurship and employment.
GAFSP is an innovative trust fund that invests in country-led agriculture and food security plans. U.S. leadership has garnered over $1 billion in contributions from 10 donors. This funding is helping to improve the livelihoods of more than 13 million smallholder farmers and their families in 25 countries across Africa, Asia and Latin America.
Photo Credit: World Bank Mapping 4 Results