Acumen Resilient Agriculture Fund raises US$58m to boost climate change resilience of African small-holder farmers

AFRICA – The Acumen Resilient Agriculture Fund (ARAF), an equity fund that supports African agri-businesses that assist smallholder farmers adapt to climate change, has raised US$58 million. The fund is supported by the Dutch entrepreneurial development bank (FMO), the Soros Economic Development Fund, the French development institution PROPARCO (through FISEA+, the AFD Fund advised by PROPARCO), the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation, IKEA Foundation, Global Social Impact, and other respected investors and funders. It is sponsored by Acumen, managed by its wholly owned subsidiary Acumen Capital Partners, and anchored by Green…

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FMO, Rabobank contribute to IDH Farmfit Fund’s US$118.7m supporting small-scale farmers in Africa

AFRICA – IDH Farmfit Fund, the catalysing smallholder finance facility of IDH has received financial support from the Dutch development bank FMO and Rabobank, each investing €10 million (US$11.8m). The IDH Farmfit Fund, with backing from public and private organizations makes it possible to provide financing for small-scale farmers in developing countries. By covering any initial losses on loans, the fund allows banks to provide financing for this sector with ease, acting as a bridge between small-scale farms and financial services. It also invests in innovative companies that develop solutions…

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Canada spearheads development of innovative solutions to plastic mismanagement in sub-Saharan Africa

AFRICA – The government of Canada has partnered with Nesta Challenges to undertake the Afri-Plastics Challenge, aimed to improve plastic waste management in sub-Saharan Africa with a cash price of CA$14.5m (US$11.4m) to be distributed to the winners. Nesta Challenges, based in the United Kingdom, was launched in 2012 to increase understanding and practical evidence about challenge prizes as an innovation method to encourage more governments, charities and businesses to use competitions to make a tangible, positive impact on society. The Afri-Plastics Challenge seeks to find innovators with scalable and…

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IFAD bridges SMEs, small-scale producers financing gap through newly launched Private Sector Financing Programme

NIGERIA – The UN’s International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), has issued a US$5 million financing to a Nigerian social impact enterprise, Babban Gona, to support small-scale rice and maize producers in the country. Babban Gona, with a strong background in successfully moving small-scale farmers from subsistence to a more market-orientated model, seeks to offer a comprehensive package of training, quality inputs, and marketing services to 377,000 farmers with the financing. Babban Gona will also store and sell the harvest on behalf of its farmers when prices are higher. They…

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Seed Co International posts bumper profits following stellar performance in all its markets

AFRICA – Seed Co International Limited (SCIL), has recorded a 26% spike in revenue to US$88.5 million in the year ended March 2021, compared to US$70.1 million achieved in the prior year. According to the seed producer, the revenue growth is attributed to doubling of income in Malawi to US$18.4m, benefiting from the huge government Inputs program. The same performance was reflected in Nigeria albeit from a low base of US$1.1m last year, due to increased confidence in the Seed Co brand, supported by institutional sales under a program funded…

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FAO, AUC, UNECA call for transformation of Africa’s agri-food systems to make healthy diets more accessible, affordable

AFRICA – With Africa boasting of having 60% of the world’s arable land and diverse agro- ecological zones, it is a sceptical paradox that is genuinely disturbing, that nearly three-quarters of Africans cannot afford a healthy diet of fruits, vegetable and animal proteins. This is according to the latest Africa Regional Overview of Food Security and Nutrition launched by FAO, the UN Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) and the African Union Commission (AUC), further indicating that, over half of all Africans (51%), cannot afford a nutrient-adequate diet which provides a…

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Africa’s fast growing alcoholic beverage distributor KDV sells minority stake to Tana Africa Capital

AFRICA – Kensington Distillers & Vintners, a London based alcoholic beverage manufacturing and distribution business with operations in South Africa, Kenya and Nigeria, has acquired an equity investment from Tana Africa Capital, an Africa-focused investment company. Following the investment, the Pan-African private equity firm has clinched a minority stake from the KDV, the majority owner of Truman & Orange South Africa, Monument Distillers East Africa and Monument Distillers Nigeria. Since its founding in 2014, the fast-growing alcoholic beverage company has been engaged in the production, distribution and sale of spirits…

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FAO launches Green Cities Action Programme for Africa to promote sustainable food systems

AFRICA – The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), has launched the Green Cities Regional Action Programme for Africa, aimed to apply innovative solutions and turn urbanization into an opportunity for cities to become more sustainable, more resilient, provide access to healthy foods and ensure a better life for everyone. The initiative will focus to scale-up fast-action measures for large, medium and small cities to be more resilient, food and nutrition secure, with pleasant natural environments, more integrated nutritious food production-and-distribution systems benefiting residents and farmers alike.…

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AfDB taps expertise of Dr Beth Dunford to be Vice President, Agriculture, Human and Social Development

AFRICA – The African Development Bank Group (AfDB.org) has announced the appointment of Dr. Beth Dunford as Vice President, Agriculture, Human and Social Development, effective 1st July 2021. Dr. Dunford, a national of the United States of America, brings extensive experience to this role having held senior level leadership positions in the US government. She is feted for having managed large and complex programs, working with the private sector, civil society, and multilateral and bilateral institutions, as well as with African governments, to deliver agricultural, social and human development impact…

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IFC, German partner to strengthen supply chains for smallholder farmers in Africa with launch od US$25m program

AFRICA – IFC and BMZ, the German Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development, have launched a new program that will leverage greater private sector investments to support the food production value chain across Africa and increase access to finance for rural farmers and businesses.  The Euro 21 million (US$25.45 million) Food Systems Development Program, focuses on giving food producers, ranging from smallholder farmers to small and medium-sized agri-businesses in Africa, greater opportunities to improve their incomes. IFC’s technical assistance will strengthen agricultural value chains from farm to market. “The battle…

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