To ease your site search, article categories are at bottom of page.

October 24, 2011

UK's CDC to invest in African agribusiness

Farming and agribusiness in sub-Saharan Africa will receive a significant boost as CDC, the UK’s development finance institution, announced a $20 million investment in the sector. CDC’s investment will back farming businesses in Zambia, Tanzania, Malawi, Mozambique and Uganda and help them expand agricultural production and improve food security in the region.

CDC, which invests in promising businesses in Africa and South Asia, is committing $20 million to the Silverlands Fund, an investment fund which will go on to provide capital and expertise to locally-run, commercial farms which often struggle to raise the necessary backing to help them grow.

The Silverlands fund will largely invest in primary agriculture by targeting farms producing crops such as grains, soya, fruits, vegetables, sugar, tea, and coffee. Capital will also go into the processing and marketing of produce as well as into businesses making agricultural machinery and equipment.

The fund also operates a pioneering scheme which supports local small-scale farmers by linking them up to the operations of Silverland’s bigger farms giving them access to larger markets, as well as seed and fertilizer, education and technical assistance.

Rod Evison, CDC’s Acting CEO and Managing Director, Africa said, “Increasing financing for farms and making the commercial agribusiness sector more efficient are vital if African countries are to increase food production and move away from being net importers of staple foods. While global demand for food rises, the amount of agricultural land in production in Africa has barely increased since the mid-1960s.”

The Silverlands fund, which is managed by SilverStreet Capital, is aiming to raise a total of $300 million for investment in up to 15 agribusinesses across the main fertile growing areas of Central and Southern Africa. The fund, which is one of only a tiny number of private equity fund investing in African agribusiness, has attracted backing from other development finance institutions such as Finnfund, as well as large European pension funds.

While the main investment focus of the fund will be on primary farming, CDC’s capital may also back businesses that process and market farm produce; provide farming services and equipment and offer agricultural financial services in order to support the wider agricultural sector.

Evison added, “For countries in Central and Southern Africa it is often possible with the help of better irrigation to have two crops a season. We’re encouraged that Silverlands will focus on improving irrigation systems which will mean higher yields and will provide insurance against drought.”

Silverlands is also pioneering a new way of supporting cooperation between neighbouring small-scale farmers and existing large, commercial farms. Commercial farms will function as hubs where local small-scale farmers can receive crop fertilisers, education, technical assistance, and compensation for their harvest. The fund’s goal is to reach 100,000 small farmers in each country of operation over 10 years, which would lead to an estimated increase in total food production of 2.8 million tons per year.

CPI Financial

Article Categories

AGRA agribusiness agrochemicals agroforestry aid Algeria aloe vera Angola aquaculture banana barley beans beef bees Benin biodiesel biodiversity biof biofuel biosafety biotechnology Botswana Brazil Burkina Faso Burundi CAADP Cameroon capacity building cashew cassava cattle Central African Republic cereals certification CGIAR Chad China CIMMYT climate change cocoa coffee COMESA commercial farming Congo Republic conservation agriculture cotton cow pea dairy desertification development disease diversification DRCongo drought ECOWAS Egypt Equatorial Guinea Ethiopia EU EUREPGAP events/meetings expo exports fa fair trade FAO fertilizer finance fisheries floods flowers food security fruit Gabon Gambia gender issues Ghana GM crops grain green revolution groundnuts Guinea Bissau Guinea Conakry HIV/AIDS honey hoodia horticulture hydroponics ICIPE ICRAF ICRISAT IFAD IITA imports India infrastructure innovation inputs investment irrigation Ivory Coast jatropha kenaf keny Kenya khat land deals land management land reform Lesotho Liberia Libya livestock macadamia Madagascar maiz maize Malawi Mali mango marijuana markets Mauritania Mauritius mechanization millet Morocco Mozambique mushroom Namibia NEPAD Niger Nigeria organic agriculture palm oil pastoralism pea pest control pesticides pineapple plantain policy issues potato poultry processing productivity Project pyrethrum rai rain reforestation research rice rivers rubber Rwanda SADC Sao Tome and Principe seed seeds Senegal sesame Seychelles shea butter Sierra Leone sisal soil erosion soil fertility Somalia sorghum South Africa South Sudan Southern Africa spices standards subsidies Sudan sugar sugar cane sustainable farming Swaziland sweet potato Tanzania tariffs tea tef tobacco Togo tomato trade training Tunisia Uganda UNCTAD urban farming value addition value-addition vanilla vegetables water management weeds West Africa wheat World Bank WTO yam Zambia Zanzibar zero tillage Zimbabwe

  © 2007 Africa News Network design by

Back to TOP