Irish agri-food companies sought for African partnership programme

A further call has been made for Irish agri-food companies to apply to take part in the Africa Agri-Food Development (AADP) programme.

The joint call was made today by the Tanaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Simon Coveney, and the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed.

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, while funds are also available for feasibility studies.

The closing date for receipt of applications is March 30, 2018. Application for AADP support must be submitted online and the application form can be accessed on the Department of Agriculture’s website.

Commenting on the project, the Tanaiste stated: “Recognising the importance of agriculture in both the Irish economy and in the economies of African countries, I am delighted that the Africa Agri-Food Development Programme enables Irish companies to partner with African companies to advance shared interests in the expanding African agri-food sector.”

Meanwhile, Minister Creed explained that the programme has built strong partnerships between Irish and African agri-food companies in previous years.

He also noted the arrival of a visiting African Union agriculture sector delegation, which is part of the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation’s project on ‘Building Inclusive and Sustainable Food Value Chains’ – which is funded by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine.

“I welcome this prestigious delegation to Ireland which brings together public and private sectors in Africa and Ireland to exchange lessons on building sustainable and nutritious agri-food sectors,” the minister said.

Speaking at a meeting with the delegation, the Tanaiste acknowledged the delegates’ interest in Ireland’s experience in the agriculture sector.

“We are anxious to share our own experiences – and learn from other countries’ experiences – in using agriculture to transform the lives of rural communities, recognising the importance of the sector in creating jobs and opportunities in our own and African countries’ growing economies,” he said.