Canada makes major contribution to support small and medium-sized agri-food enterprise growth in Africa

News release

May 24, 2022 - Nairobi, Kenya - Global Affairs Canada

Rising global food insecurity calls for new investments in climate-smart, nature-based agricultural solutions.

Today, the Honourable Harjit S. Sajjan, Minister of International Development and Minister responsible for the Pacific Economic Development Agency of Canada, announced that Canada has contributed $100 million to the African Development Bank (AfDB) to support the growth of small and medium-sized agri-food enterprises (agri-SMEs).

Minister Sajjan emphasized the importance of investing in green agribusinesses, particularly those run by or benefitting women on the African continent. Agri-SMEs produce, process and transport 70% to 90% of the continent’s food, meaning they are major job creators and are key to strengthening African food security, and ensuring that we can support African driven inclusive and green growth.

The funding announced today is provided through the Government of Canada’s International Assistance Innovation Program, which helps accelerate private sector development that contributes to the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals.


“We know that the best way to build up food security across  the African continent is to work with African small and medium-sized agri-food businesses to help them expand and grow. The funding Canada is providing the African Development Bank will help increase food security across the continent while supporting inclusive and sustainable economic growth.”

- Harjit S. Sajjan, Minister of International Development and Minister responsible for the Pacific Economic Development Agency of Canada

“At a time when multiple crises are placing a heavy burden on the continent’s agricultural value chain, we applaud Canada’s continued support with the significant and timely contribution of 100 million dollars to support gender-oriented small and medium-sized agri-food enterprises prioritizing climate resilience. The AfDB will leverage its resources along with Canada’s contribution to greatly enhance our support to these agri-SMEs, which we recognize as a key economic backbone of economies across Africa and a priority for transforming the continent’s agriculture into a major driver of competitive, inclusive, and sustainable green growth.”

- Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, President of the African Development Bank Group

Quick facts

  • The new ACFM, combined with last year’s establishment of the Canada-AfDB Climate Fund, demonstrates Canada’s support of the AfDB’s focus on climate-resilient, inclusive agricultural production.

  • Funding for this initiative, called the Agri-SME Catalytic Financing Mechanism (ACFM), will provide concessional finance and technical assistance to agribusinesses, financial institutions and impact funds so they can make loans to gender-oriented agri-SMEs.

  • Canada’s ACFM will further help the AfDB raise the profile of inclusive sustainable growth. It is another example of Canada’s support of African production for Africa consumption.

  • Canada has committed $935.6 million over 5 years (2020 to 2024) for the International Assistance Innovation Program with the aim of building markets that benefit the underserved by creating conditions for better investments in developing countries.

Associated links


Haley Hodgson
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of International Development

Media Relations Office
Global Affairs Canada
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