Dubai’s food, beverage trade with Africa hits 4-year high at US$2.4 billion in 2020

AFRICA – As the world moves closer to achieving a global economy, Africa is fast emerging as one of the most important markets for the United Arab Emirates. Dubai’s food and beverage (F&B) trade with Africa hit a four-year high at US$2.4 billion in 2020, according to a recent analysis by the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry. The value of trade last year, which doesn’t include tobacco, was 18 percent higher compared to the previous year and the highest since 2017. During the five-year period 2015 – 2020, the…

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IFC, Africa Re partner to develop insurance to protect Nigerian smallholder farmers from risks

NIGERIA – Africa Reinsurance Corporation (Africa Re) and the International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group, have sealed an agreement to develop agriculture insurance market space in Nigeria. Under the agreement, Africa Re, a pan-African reinsurance organisation, and IFC’s Global Index Insurance Facility will help Nigerian insurance companies develop agricultural insurance products, and deepen their index insurance business lines. These index insurance products will help protect farmers against environmental risks such as drought, floods, erratic rainfall and other natural hazards, reports Guardian Nigeria. The initiative is…

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Kenyan farmers receive tailor-made financial support from Equity Bank to boost productivity

KENYA – Equity Bank, a Kenyan financial service holding company has launched a farm inputs subsidy programme dubbed Kenya Cereal Enhancement Programme – Climate-Resilient Agricultural Livelihoods Window (KCEP-CRAL). Despite many Kenyan households in rural parts of the country still relying on farming as a source of livelihood, the high cost of farm inputs has played a prohibitive role in the adoption of agribusiness by farmers. The programme aims at supporting smallholder farmers to increase productivity and profitability of cereal production by ensuring their access of farm inputs, value chain financing,…

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Italian Trade Agency launches training program for agri-food sector in Nigeria

NIGERIA – The Italian Trade Agency has launched the first E-Lab Innova in Nigeria, as part of its commitment to boost trade relationships with Nigeria. The E-Lab Innova is an educational training program for the agri-food sector in Nigeria which will be implemented in collaboration with the Nigerian Export Promotion Commision (NEPC) alongside other Italian partners, such as MACFRUT, a leading exhibition for the agribusiness industry. The Italian Trade Agency is a governmental agency that supports the business development, partnerships and collaborations between Italian companies and their local counterpart. “Nigeria…

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Sahel Capital, KfW launch US$24m Social Enterprise Fund for Agriculture in Africa

SUB-SAHARAN – Sahel Capital, a private equity firm, has launched a US$24 million Social Enterprise Fund for Agriculture in Africa (SEFAA), sponsored by the German development bank, KfW. Sahel will act as investment adviser to SEFAA, an impact fund with the goal of reducing poverty by investing in social agricultural enterprises (SAEs) in sub-Saharan Africa. In addition to SEFAA’s targeted impact of reducing poverty through its investments, the fund is also expected to create and preserve jobs and deliver on six of the UN sustainable development goals (SDGs 1, 2,…

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Unilever, Farm to Market Alliance partner to promote consumption of diversified local foods

KENYA – Farm to Market Alliance and Unilever are joining forces to find ways for African consumers to access affordable, locally made, food brands like Knorr and Royco produced from indigenous, nutritious and climate resilient crops, supplied by local smallholder farmers.  This new partnership will bring together the Farm to Market Alliance’s Farmer Service Centre model and Unilever’s consumer experience to explore ways for African smallholders to grow ‘Future 50 Foods’ as part of the World Economic Forum’s multi-stakeholder Food Innovation Hubs initiative. This is part of the parties’ commitment…

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Malaysia bets on new dairy project to reduce reliance on milk imports, create jobs

MALAYSIA – Malaysia’s Johor State Government and the East Coast Economic Region Development Council (ECERDC) have signed a collaboration agreement to develop a new project aimed at raising the country’s dairy production capacity.    Dubbed the JemaluangDairy Valley (JDV) project, the new project is part of the overall strategy in turning the East Coast Economic Region (ECER) into the ‘Dairy Valley’ of Malaysia.   The JDV project will be built on 275 hectares of land in Mersing, Joho, and will be modeled on the Muadzam Shah Cattle Research and Innovation Centre…

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South African agri-fintech HelloChoice gets equity investment from Standard Bank

SOUTH AFRICA – South Africa based digital fresh produce and agricultural market place, HelloChoice, has entered into a 25% equity deal with its long-partner Standard Bank. The investment will enable the agri-fintech to continue to operate its trading platform and promote market efficiency, solidifying its leadership position as the premiere market place. HelloChoice, founded in 2018 by Grant Jacobs and Graeme Jarvie, has modernised the traditional way of buying and selling agricultural produce by linking farmers and food producers directly with potential buyers through its platform accessed via its website…

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AfDB’s Special Agro-Industrial Processing Zones in Africa gets backing from financiers, developers

AFRICA – The African Development Bank (AfDB) has continued to garner support from key financiers and developers in the establishment of Special Agro-industrial Processing Zones (SAPZ) across the region. During the first partnership meeting, the parties unanimously agreed that the initiative can trigger a fundamental change in Africa’s economic transformation. The gathering brought together representatives from development finance institutions, private developers of Special Economic Zones, and other key global and regional players in Africa’s agri-business sector to share insights on how agro-industrialization can create massive job opportunities, boost agricultural productivity,…

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KALRO joins forces with Syngenta Foundation to boost potato production in Kenya

KENYA – The Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organisation (KALRO) has partnered with Syngenta Foundation, a not-for-profit organization supporting the productivity of small-scale farmers, to boost potato production in the country. The collaboration will be centred mainly around the improvement of the supply of certified quality seeds to the farmers, a real challenge for the actors of the sector.  According to reports by Business Daily, it will involve increasing high quality certified potato seed availability to farmers by 25 percent through rapid multiplication, increased field seed bulking, and capacity building…

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