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AfDB approves $150m for agriculture purposes in AfricaLifestyle Nigeria

Ololade Omosan-Agie

The African Development Bank Group has approved a $150m facility for the ETC Group Limited to address the working capital requirements for the company and its agriculture value chain development in a boost for smallholder farmers.

The AfDB said the investment would be in form a trade and agri-finance package and comprises of a $75 soft commodity finance facility to support the group’s pre- and post-shipment working capital requirements, with a particular focus on export-oriented activities and another $75m agriculture value-chain programme to increase agriculture production and productivity, by providing improved agricultural inputs and agronomic advisory services to local farmers.

According to a statement, it said the ultimate beneficiaries of the intervention, would 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.

The Vice President for Private Sector, Infrastructure and Industrialization, Solomon Quaynor, said the bank’s investment into ETC Group would 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.

Commenting on the development, the Director-General of the bank’s Southern Africa Region, Leila Mokadem, said, “The advent of COVID-19 has caused major disruptions in agricultural value chains worldwide. The proposed facility would be a key enabler in supporting ETC’s build-back strategy on the African continent, in LICs and transition states.”

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