NIGERIA – The British International Investment (BII), a UK finance institution, has pledged USD 26.5 million to AFEX, Africa’s leading commodities platform to enhance agricultural productivity in Nigeria.
This substantial investment aims to fuel structural enhancements within Africa’s agricultural sector, reveals AFEX.
The collaboration was formalized in a signing ceremony attended by notable figures including the British deputy high commissioner in Lagos, Jonny Baxter, BII chief executive officer, Nick O’Donohoe, and AFEX Group CEO, Ayodeji Balogun.
The infusion of funds is anticipated to greatly benefit smallholder farmers, foster increased food security, and pave the way for sustainable agricultural growth in the region.
“It will also scale warehouse technology and next-generation software that captures post-harvest pricing,” the statement read.
“Smart storage solutions have the potential to preserve the lifespan of harvested crops, and so increase the volume of food available.”
The additional warehouses will provide 230,000 MT of storage capacity, enabling up to 200,000 more farmers to access low-cost storage and maximize sales from crop harvests, potentially helping increase farmer incomes by more than 200%.
The project stems from the premise that supporting smallholder farmers to achieve a fair wage is vital to ensuring they remain in operation, producing more and higher-quality crops for local consumption.
“By directing fresh capital towards the development of technologically advanced warehouses and critical facilities, we are significantly enhancing market access and income potential for smallholder farmers,” continued the statement.
The partnership’s growth plans are in alignment with the UN SDGs as their mission is to enable Africa to feed itself efficiently and sustainably.
Commenting on the transaction, BII Chief Executive Officer, O’Donohoe said that the World Bank estimates that Africa’s food import bill has reached USD30 billion in recent decades.
He then commended BII’s investment adding that, “The agricultural sector stands as a vital pillar to Nigeria’s economy, playing a significant role in job creation and investment potential.”
Other countries set to gain from BII’s investment include Kenya and Uganda where 20 modern warehouses will be established.
AFEX, currently operating more than 200 warehouses across Nigeria, Kenya, and Uganda, and catering to over 450,000 farmers, stands to witness transformative changes.
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