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DFIs support AgDevCo with $90m investment

Staff writer
Feb. 28, 2022, 6:06 p.m.

Word count: 607

CDC Group, Norfund and DFC have invested $90m in AgDevCo, a specialist investor in early-stage African agribusinesses.

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CDC Group, Norfund and DFC have invested $90m in AgDevCo, a specialist investor in early-stage African agribusinesses.

Algene Sajery, DFC’s Vice President of External Affairs and Head of Global Gender Equity Initiatives, said: “DFC is thrilled to support AgDevCo with a $20m loan to bring additional capital to smallholder farmers and agricultural businesses in Africa, promoting food security for lower-income communities across the continent.”

“DFC's loan, alongside financing from our partner DFIs, will enable AgDevCo to link more farmers to markets and create jobs for underserved populations, with a focus on women farmers.”

This is in addition to the announcement of supplementary funding of up to $5.4m from CDC, Norfund and the UK’s Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) for AgDevCo’s integrated technical assistance facility.   

Tenbite Ermias, CDC’s Managing Director for Africa, said: “This investment reinforces our long-term commitment to investing in key sectors in Africa including agriculture, which is critical for creating jobs, promoting gender equality and supporting people to build a better life for themselves and their families.”

“Furthermore, it reflects our continued focus on climate finance which is central to our new strategy over the next five-year period, to support emerging economies that are most vulnerable to the impacts of the climate emergency.”

Ellen Cathrine Rasmussen, Executive Vice President of Scalable Enterprises in Norfund, added: “Norfund is very pleased to partner with AgDevCo to deliver on our joint mission: to create jobs and improve lives by investing in businesses that drive sustainable development. A thriving commercial African agriculture sector is vital for economic growth and job creation.”

“More than half of Sub-Saharan Africa’s population work in agriculture, yet Africa does not produce enough food to feed the continent. The investment in AgDevCo will create jobs, increase food production, improve climate change resilience, and promote gender equality. The AgDevCo team’s skills, networks and achievements are impressive – and we look forward to working with them."

Established in 2009, AgDevCo’s vision is a thriving commercial African agriculture sector that benefits people, economies, and the environment.

The organisation contributes to this goal by providing investment capital and technical assistance to grow sustainable and impactful businesses across the agricultural value chain.

In doing so, it aims to promote resilience, gender equality and the production of better-quality, more nutritious food.

This new funding builds on the original endowment funding provided by the UK government which helped establish AgDevCo over the past decade.

This endowment has provided capital to agribusinesses that have directly created or sustained more than 15,000 jobs and to work with 750,000 smallholder farmers to help increase their income and improve their resilience to climate change. 

It has also allowed AgDevCo to build a capability and track record to the point where it can secure external investment capital.

Keith Palmer, AgDevCo’s founder and Chairman, said: “Securing investment from CDC, Norfund and DFC is a major milestone in AgDevCo’s history. It is a strong endorsement of AgDevCo’s team and our strategy. We are excited that our vision is shared by our new funders, who recognise the important contribution that AgDevCo investments can make to productivity, sustainability, and inclusivity in Africa. The funding marks the beginning of a partnership in which AgDevCo will use its sector specialism, drawing on our new funders’ networks and resources, to increase the number of impactful investments in African agriculture.”

UK Minister for Africa, Vicky Ford, said: “I am proud to see how AgDevCo’s investing has boosted sustainable agriculture across Sub-Saharan Africa over the past 10 years, including deepening impact on smallholder farmers and SMEs. This new investment will bring continued growth, by enabling agribusiness SMEs to expand, improve farmer incomes, create new jobs and strengthen climate resilience across Africa. 

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