EDITORIAL - Ireland is cultivating African agriculture
2018-02-15 17:00:00 -


Last month, Ireland announced that it is to give €7.5m to support the work of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD). According to the Tanáiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Simon Coveney, the four-year grant from 2019 would aid the eradication of rural poverty in developing countries.


The move follows a recent meeting with agriculture sector delegates from 11 African countries, where Minister Coveney highlighted the rationale behind its collaboration with the IFAD as a way to “concentrate its work and resources on the poorest and most fragile countries.”


Besides this support for the IFAD, Metro Éireann is much aware of the State’s efforts in ensuring food sustainability across Irish Aid programme countries, especially in Africa. At the moment, €250,000 in grants is available to Irish companies in partnerships with African firms through the Africa Agri-Food Development Programme (AADP), joint initiative between the Departments of Foreign Affairs and Trade and Agriculture, Food and the Marine.


Addressing the African delegation, the Tánaiste said the AADP not only recognises the importance of agriculture to the economy in Ireland and African states alike, but also facilitates those working in the sector on both sides “to advance shared interests in the expanding African agri-food sector.”


Metro Éireann welcomes Ireland’s efforts here. However, we also urge Irish Government to find a way of including Africans in the diaspora in its strategy. Many of them are trained in the relevant areas, and many cases are experienced experts. They are the catalyst for change.


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