The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Dara Calleary, and the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Simon Coveney, jointly announced a further call for applications for the Africa Agri-Food Development Programme (AADP) today, Wednesday, July 22.

This programme, which is a joint initiative between the two departments, provides support of up to €250,000 to Irish companies in partnerships with African companies.

Projects must be based in Africa, must be commercial in focus and deliver real benefits to local communities. All state funding is to be matched by the Irish company. Funds are also available for feasibility studies.

Minister Calleary commented on the programme, saying:

“I am delighted to launch this latest round of funding under the AADP.

Previous experience has shown that the AADP enables Irish agri-food companies to partner with African companies to support sustainable growth of the local food industry; to build markets for local produce; and to support mutual trade between Ireland and Africa.

“The Programme for Government is ambitious on international trade and initiatives such as the AADP strengthen our existing links and is also significant in the context of Ireland’s response to the EU’s Task Force for Rural Africa.”

Form partnerships

Speaking about the important role for Irish exports to Africa, Minister Coveney said:

“Recognising the important role agriculture plays in both the Irish economy and in the economies of African countries, I am delighted that my department is once again supporting the AADP.

“The AADP enables Irish companies to form partnerships with African businesses so that they can advance shared interests in expanding and strengthening the African agri-food sector.”

A report by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine showed that Irish agri-food exports to African countries totalled over €607 million in 2017, a 98% increase since 2009.

Exports to African nations made up 4% of total agri-food exports in 2017.

The closing date for receipt of applications is the September 2, 2020.