FMO eyes controlling stake in West African agricultural inputs distributor Project Budapest

WEST AFRICA – FMO, the Dutch development bank, is seeking to acquire a majority stake in Project Budapest, alongside other consortium of investors for an undisclosed amount.

Project Budapest is a leading distributor of Agricultural inputs i.e., fertilizers and crop protection products, mainly in West Africa through smallholder distributors, Agro-dealers and retailers who in turn sell these products to smallholder farmers.

Other chemical products distributed by the Company support key industries in the targeted emerging markets, such as clean drinking water.

The company also engages directly with smallholder farmers through technical support, and training initiatives on safe use of product and good agricultural practices.

The backing by FMO is aimed to strengthen the Environmental, social, and governance (ESG) of the company that has been in operations for over 70 years.

In addition, it will enable Project Budapest to expand smallholder farmer training and exploring sustainability-related initiatives.

“The use of Agricultural-inputs will play an important role in contributing to the production growth required to promote food security over the long term.

“Plant nutrition products (fertilizers) support the maintenance and increase of crop yields, whilst crop protection products protect smallholder farmers from material yield destruction and associated livelihood impacts,” stated FMO.

The international financier has increasingly been showing support to Africa’s agriculture sector in the recent past.

In April it led Farmerline Group’s US$6.4 million Pre-Series A investment alongside Acumen Resilient Agriculture Fund(ARAF).

Earlier, FMO had hinted it would channel US$3m into the ag-tech startup, to strengthen its supply chain for agribusinesses; reduce the cost of farming; and increase yield for farmers on the continent through the deployment of AI technology and local infrastructure, with support from FMO.

Farmerline, commonly referred to the continent’s Amazon for African farmers, brings together digital tools, logistics, field agents, farm resources and agribusiness partnerships under its marketplace to support African farmers.

Through the platforms, the food and raw material producers can access high-quality fertilizer and seeds; free education on climate-smart farming practices; and connections to international markets.

The company’s in-house technology platform Mergdata is also licensed by global food traders and manufacturers who use its customisable tools to improve the lives of farmers around the world.

The investment in Farmerline follows its partnership with Endeavor SA to expand their existing acceleration model in Africa which helps early-stage ventures with globally scalable solutions.

Endeavour SA is a non-profit company focused on driving inclusive growth and job creation through its support of “high-growth entrepreneurs” – specifically in lesser developed markets leveraging its strong pro-bono global network of entrepreneurs, teams, mentors, and investors.

The organization’s ‘Local Scale-Up’ program provides a highly tailored and structured mentoring process to enable start-ups to engage experts and investors in order to overcome growth challenges.

Through a cohort-based approach supported by FMO, Endeavor focuses on helping ventures within the agri-tech industry and particularly from Ghana, Morocco, and Tanzania.

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