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The Agri-Business Capital Fund (ABC Fund) has unveiled its highly anticipated third annual Impact Report, revealing substantial advancements in agricultural development across Africa and Latin America.
Since its establishment in 2019, the ABC Fund has channelled a cumulative total of EUR€43 million (about $45.7 million) to 28 pioneering organisations spanning 11 nations. The 2022 period marked a milestone year, with the Fund backing seven fresh enterprises, comprising four agri-SMEs and three financial intermediaries. Loan sizes ranged from an impressive EUR€242,000 to EUR€4 million.
The organisations championed by the ABC Fund have demonstrated a resounding commitment to supporting over 594 000 small-scale farmers, with women constituting an impressive 67% of this beneficiary group.
In a direct endorsement of its impact, the ABC Fund has directly aided nearly 200 000 smallholder farmers through its financial backing. This includes instances where cooperative farmers received pre-production financing and microcredit recipients through the fund’s affiliated financial intermediaries.
The supported entities collectively generated 331 new employment opportunities during 2022, marking a significant escalation from the 14 jobs created in 2021. Impressively, agribusinesses and cooperatives buoyed by the Fund have collectively yielded over 235 144 metric tonnes of agricultural products since the commencement of the fund’s financial support. A further 106 176 metric tonnes were produced in 2022 alone.
The ABC Fund is resolutely dedicated to advancing the cause of small-scale farmers within the developing world, particularly within the African continent.
Its overarching ambition encompasses not only the alleviation of rural poverty and food insecurity but also the cultivation of sustainable, all-encompassing agricultural systems.
The ABC Fund demonstrates its commitment by channelling loans to farmer cooperatives, agri-SMEs, and rural financial institutions. These organisations, brimming with potential but deficient in capital for expansion, receive an injection of funds, coupled with expert technical guidance to ensure optimal growth.
The fund’s twin-pronged strategy aspires to establish transformative, long-lasting benefits for small-scale farmers within the fund’s operational jurisdictions. Operating on a blended finance model, the ABC Fund involves both public and private investors, each shouldering distinct risks while reaping varied returns.
The third annual report is a testament to the ABC Fund’s escalating impact upon farming communities, as attested by consistently positive year-on-year results. Offering a comprehensive glimpse into its investment portfolio, the report offers illuminating case studies sourced from diverse locales such as Mali, Benin, Ghana, Côte d’Ivoire, and Colombia.
Thouraya Triki, chair of the ABC Fund’s board and director of IFAD’s Sustainable Production, Markets and Institutions Division, remarked, “By delivering a holistic package of financial solutions and expert technical assistance to innovative and impactful organisations, the ABC Fund serves as a vital pillar in fortifying agricultural ecosystems, thereby fostering inclusive food systems within the communities it operates.”
Jean-Philippe de Schrevel, founder and managing partner of Bamboo Capital Partners, lauded the fund’s accomplishments, stating, “Throughout 2022, the ABC Fund remained steadfast in fulfilling its core mission. Its investments stand as a resolute bulwark, bolstering the livelihoods of nearly 600 000 farmers.
“The Fund’s contributions extend further by enhancing farmers’ resilience against climate change and fortifying agricultural value chains across its target regions. Beyond mere financial backing, the fund’s role extends to critical technical support, both before and after investments, facilitated by its Technical Assistance Facility as well as its burgeoning partnership with the Smallholder Safety Net Upscaling Program (SSNUP).”