19 November 2014

West African farmers given chance to boost incomes through UK investment

Joint press release from DFID and CDC

Farmers in Western Africa will have the opportunity to grow and sell more crops on the open market following a new investment from the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID) Impact Fund which is managed by CDC.

The £9.04 million (US$15m) investment will help farmers in countries including Ghana, Cote d’Ivoire and Mali improve their food security and income, helping lift them out of poverty.

The investment, the second from DFID’s Impact Fund, will be made into Injaro, a West African agriculture-focused fund, which makes sustainable investments into small and medium-sized agricultural enterprises.

These investments help businesses grow, boosting their demand from farmers who supply them and in turn increasing farmers’ incomes. The investments will also provide better quality seeds and fertilizer for farmers to grow their produce.

The investment into Injaro will:

  • Sustainably increase the supply and affordability of better quality seeds for smallholder farmers; 
  • Supply essential products and services to growing local consumer markets; and
  • Help companies make the most of export opportunities

Alongside the investment from the DFID Impact Fund, investment has also been leveraged from the French Development Finance Institution Proparco (£4.2 million) and the Dutch Development Finance Institution FMO (£6 million).

Injaro already has £10.2 million of private capital from Lundin Foundation, Soros Economic Development Fund and Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa.  The new investments announced today will give the Fund scale and impact to build a track record to bring further private investment in the next round.

Diana Noble, CDC’s Chief Executive, said:

 “Through the Impact Fund, CDC is providing capital to businesses and projects improving the lives of the poorest people in Africa and South Asia. This investment in Injaro will create economic opportunities for thousands of rural smallholder farmers and low-income producers and consumers across West Africa. It will also support the team to raise additional capital from other commercial investors.”

Justine Greening, UK International Development Secretary, said:

“Economic development is the only way countries can leave behind enduring and chronic poverty for good. This investment is a clear example of how the UK is using its development expertise to kick-start investment and help the poorest move out of poverty.

“The funding will enable farmers in West Africa to grow larger supplies of crops and help them to trade what they grow. This not only allows farmers to grow enough produce to feed their families but can also turn small-holder farmers into budding agricultural businesses, boosting their prosperity in the long-term.”

 Jerry Parkes, CEO of Injaro, said:

 “The Injaro team is proud to have secured investments simultaneously from three reputable institutions with a long track record of African investments. These new investments from the UK, FMO and Proparco give our fund scale and legitimacy in the impact investment space, helping to build a track record that will attract further private investment into this emerging asset class. With an increased fund size of US$49m we hope to positively impact over 1 million smallholder farmers and low income persons in West Africa.”

The DFID Impact Fund is part of a wider DFID Programme to transform the market for impact investment in Sub Saharan Africa and South Asia.

As part of this Programme, DFID is supporting B Labs,a US-based not-for-profit company, to develop B Analytics. The £225,507 grant will help build a customisable platform for measuring, benchmarking, and reporting on a business’ social and environmental impact.

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