Irish agri-food companies are being sought to develop commercial projects in Africa to benefit communities there.

Minister for Agriculture Charlie McConalogue and Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney have jointly announced a call for applications to the Africa Agri-Food Development Programme (AADP).

The programme is a collaboration between the minister’s departments under which Irish agri-food companies are eligible for matching funding of up to €250,000.

Inviting applications, Minister McConalogue said the AADP enables companies to “leverage their agriculture expertise to partner with African companies in the development of sustainable local food enterprises; to support the growth of markets for local produce; and to facilitate mutual trade between Ireland and Africa”.

Minister Coveney added that agriculture is “the key to unlocking Africa’s huge economic potential, just as it did in Ireland”. 

Agri-food companies can ‘share lessons’

“I have seen how the AADP delivers commercial success while contributing to the sustainable development of local communities, for example in Kenya where it is supporting a revitalisation of the seed potato industry,” the minister said.

“It is to our mutual benefit to share lessons we learned in the transformation of our agriculture with partners in Africa.”

Applications for programme support must be submitted online. The closing date for receipt of applications is July 30.

Finance for the programme will be drawn from existing overseas development aid budgets in the Departments of Agriculture and Foreign Affairs (Irish Aid).