African Development Bank approves $150 million to support agriculture value-chain development in Africa
African Development Bank Group has approved a $150 million (about K122 billion) facility to ETC Group Limited to address the company’s working capital requirements and support its food production expansion plans across 10 countries in Africa, in a boost for smallholder farmers.
The investment will take the form of a trade and agri-finance package comprising a $75 million soft commodity finance facility to support the group’s pre and post shipment working capital requirements, with a particular focus on export-oriented activities.
It also includes a $75 million agriculture value-chain program to increase agriculture production and productivity, by providing improved agricultural inputs and agronomic advisory services to local farmers.
ETC is a pan-African agriculture conglomerate with a footprint expanding across Sub-Saharan Africa, North America, Europe, Middle East, and Southeast Asia, trading millions of tons in soft commodities.
The ultimate beneficiaries of this intervention will include smallholder farmers, a significant number being women and youth entrepreneurs across 10 African countries, whose productivity is expected to increase from the deployment of high-quality agricultural inputs. Rural women will also benefit greatly from this intervention.
Commenting on the loan, African Development Bank Vice President, Agriculture, Human and Social Development, Dr. Beth Dunford, said, “working with an African agro-champion like ETC was critical towards achieving the Bank’s developmental goal to support millions of small holder farmers across the continent and contribute to increased agriculture production and food security, in the process”.
Solomon Quaynor, Vice President for Private Sector, Infrastructure and Industrialization added that: “the Bank’s investment into ETC Group will go a long way in contributing to food import substitution by allowing ETC to process and package agricultural products locally while increasing value-addition of export-oriented products.”
Director General of the Bank’s Southern Africa region, Leila Mokadem noted: “The advent of COVID-19 has caused major disruptions in agricultural value chains worldwide. The proposed facility will therefore be a key enabler in supporting ETC’s build-back strategy on the African continent, specifically in LICs and Transition states”.
ETC Group’s operations cover 26 African countries. Their business activities cover agricultural inputs, cash -traded products such as pulses and rice, exchange-traded products, logistics, and retail consumer goods.
ETG has developed into a global player with a diverse portfolio of expertise across multiple industries, encompassing Agricultural inputs, logistics, merchandising and processing, supply chain optimization, digital transformation and energy.
Our passion lies in the upliftment of farming communities; an unhindered commitment since establishment. Our promoters identified three challenges that supply chains in Africa faced and created a globalized business model around solutions addressing these obstacles.
The first challenge identified was how to connect Small holder farmers with International Markets. In the early 80’s, the group started introducing small hubs and shops throughout rural areas. Local produce was bought in cash at farm-gate and stored at strategically located facilities. This reduced the farmers’ risk of having stock past expiration and allowed the group to build stock positions for distribution to various markets. The initiative increased farmers’ confidence in the group and progressed to a network of millions of small holder farmers across Africa.
A second and daunting challenge was how to introduce mechanization and processing capability to the continent. Approximately 95 % of Agriculture products were exported in raw format to international markets. The economic benefit of processing locally is vast – it creates job prosperity, socio-economic stability, value chain enhancement and developmental impact. To capture this opportunity, ETG invested in creating a network of warehouses and logistical capacities. Processing plants have since been erected across the globe, adding value to numerous agricultural commodities, including Sesame Seeds, Pulses and Cashew Nuts. With the introduction of processing facilities and logistics infrastructure, the continents post-harvest losses were reduced from 48% in the 1980’s to 32 % in 2018.
ETG’s website: www.etgworld.com
Article source: https://ratin.net/
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