LONDON, ENGLAND — The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) have signed a memorandum of understanding to strengthen their cooperation in the agribusiness sector in countries where they both operate.

Under the partnership, the EBRD and IFAD will join forces to further develop the value chain and food security in the agribusiness sector and to promote climate-resilient agriculture by mobilizing financial resources and contributing to the global policy dialog.

The partnership agreement was signed on the sidelines of the World Bank meetings on Oct. 10 in Washington, D.C., U.S., by EBRD President Sir Suma Chakrabarti and IFAD President Kanayo F. Nwanze.

Working together, the two institutions will also enhance economic diversification and create more job opportunities, especially in rural areas in developing countries where 75 per cent of the world’s poor live.

During the signing, EBRD President Chakrabarti said, “Under this strategic partnership we will leverage our experience with the private sector, and by cooperating closely with IFAD we will enhance the bank’s contribution to sustainable economic growth.”

“This partnership comes at a crucial time when the operating environment for agriculture is rapidly changing with the emergence of new actors, challenges, risks and opportunities,” IFAD President Nwanze said. “At IFAD we believe that through partnerships such as this, there is considerable potential to increase the productivity of smallholder agriculture simply by ensuring they are operating under conditions that would allow their businesses to thrive and prosper.”