The United Nations International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) announced it will spend more than $30 million to help farmers and other rural residents in Madagascar develop microenterprises to boost their incomes.
As many as 50,000 new jobs are expected to be created under the program, which will offer training, improved technology and greater access to financial products and services – such as insurance and microfinance – to both existing and budding entrepreneurs in five regions across the Indian Ocean country. Young people will also receive professional training and apprenticeships.
The greatest efforts will be devoted to businesses based around craft work, an important activity in Madagascar, where there are an estimated 1.8 million microenterprises relating to this field. This largely informal sector contributes about $150 million to the national economy.
Benoît Therry, IFAD’s country programme manager for Madagascar, said the programme – known as PROSPERER – is designed to support economic growth and overcome bottlenecks preventing entrepreneurs from starting new businesses.