The Netherlands Development Finance Corporation (FMO) has teamed up with the Development Finance Institute (FinDev Canada) and Oesterreichische Entwicklungsbank AG (OeEB), the Austrian development bank, to open a $115 million syndicated credit line. The funds, which benefit Agri Commodities and Finance (ACF), a subsidiary of Export Trading Group (ETG), will promote sustainable agriculture in Africa.
The $115 million syndicated line of credit now available to Agri Commodities and Finance (ACF) has been opened by several development finance institutions. These include the Netherlands Development Finance Corporation (FMO), the Canadian government’s Development Finance Institute (FinDev Canada), and Oesterreichische Entwicklungsbank AG (OeEB), the Austrian development bank.
The Export Trading Group (ETG) subsidiary will use the credit line to expand its activities on the African continent. ETG is an agricultural conglomerate with activities covering the entire agricultural value chain, i.e. from farm to table. The group provides procurement, warehousing, processing and manufacturing of finished food products, transportation, as well as distribution of consumer goods. The group will leverage the credit line to improve processing capacity and logistics, thereby reducing crop losses.
Reducing agricultural losses
Improved processing capacity and logistics will also help prevent food waste in the 26 African countries where ETG operates in the agricultural sector. According to the African Development Bank (AfDB), post-harvest losses account for 30% of agricultural production in Africa each year. Chiji Chinedum Ojukwu, director of the Africa Projects Development Centre (APDC), a Nigerian-based agricultural development institution, attributes these losses to inadequate post-harvest storage facilities and inefficient processing methods.
Agricultural losses and food waste also have environmental consequences. According to the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), every year, food produced but not consumed in the world consumes a volume of water equivalent to the annual flow of the Volga River in Russia and is responsible for the release of 3.3 gigatons of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.
At least 600,000 beneficiaries
The funding from FMO, FinDev Canada and OeEB is expected to benefit 600,000 smallholder farmers. “ETG’s impact and success is helping to strengthen Africa’s agricultural sector, which will reduce poverty among smallholder farmers in Africa and improve their overall well-being through ETG’s sustainable and climate-smart agriculture and agribusiness programmes,” says Pieternel Boogaard, FMO’s director of agribusiness, food and water.
ETG is a leading cashew exporter with supply, processing and distribution networks in countries such as Tanzania and Mozambique in East Africa and Benin, Burkina Faso, Togo, Ghana, Nigeria, Senegal, Ivory Coast and Guinea Bissau in West Africa. The group also exports cocoa from Ivory Coast, Ghana, Nigeria, Togo and Guinea.
Jean Marie Takouleu