The African Development Bank, AfDB, has approved $ 150 million for ETC Group Limited to address the working capital needs of the company and support the expansion plans of the organization on food production in 10 African countries.
The head of AfDB’s communications and external relations department, Amba Mpoke-Bigg, while briefing journalists in Abuja, disclosed that AfDB Board of Directors approved the fund to improve the agriculture value chain and boost capacities of smallholder farmers in the continent.
The AfDB is a financial institution to African governments and private companies investing in the regional member countries. The headquarters of the bank is located in Abidjan, Ivory Coast and was established on 10 September 1964.
The objectives of the bank include reduction of poverty through the provision of sustainable economic development and social progress in its regional member countries, provision of technical assistance for development projects, provision of loan and equity investments among others.
Mpoke-Bigg noted that the investment would be a trade and agriculture finance program to support the group’s pre-and post-shipment working capital needs adding that the ultimate beneficiaries of this intervention would include smallholder farmers, women and young agro-preneurs.
Dr Beth Dunford, the Vice President, Agriculture, Human and Social Development, AfDB, said working with ETC as a Pan-African agricultural conglomerate with footprints around the world would enable the bank to achieve its developmental goal of supporting smallholder farmers and contribute to food security.
The Vice President for Private Sector, Infrastructure and Industrialisation, 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 the value-addition of export-oriented products.