The African Development Bank’s (AfDB) has signed a $200 million Soft Commodity Finance Facility agreement with the Export Trading Group. The agreement comes as part of AfDBs strong commitment to promote agriculture in Africa. In a statement from the bank released late last week, the facility will benefit 17 African countries.
The AfDB report further explained that the facility is structured to run as two successive loans of $100 million each with a tenor of up to two years. The bank aims at helping local farmers and soft commodity manufacturers to produce quality goods that are viable for export.
Improved food production
Speaking at the signing ceremony, Josephine Ngure, AfDB Director General for the Southern Africa Region, said the facility would contribute to improving food production in Africa and also add value to it.
She further added that the facility will also contribute to smallholder farmers’ access to inputs. These include seeds and fertilizers, mechanization as well as access to international markets. As a result, farmers will be able to garner significant revenues.
This, in turn, will lead to sustainable process of economic growth and development as well as regional integration through the development of sustainable platforms to supply local and regional markets.
Originally established in Kenya in 1967, ETC’s operations connect commodities sourced from the local economies to the broader marketplace. This is also inclusive of emerging markets around the continent.
ETC’s principal activities include: farm inputs and farm implements, processing of agricultural commodities and distribution. The company also promotes agribusiness in countries where agriculture averages as the biggest employer. That is, if it provides in excess of 70% of total employment and 77% of all women’s jobs.