FMO and FinDev Canada support critical food supply in Africa through a working capital loan

11 Mar 2021

FMO, FinDev Canada, and OeEB (the Development Bank of Austria) announced a US$115mn syndicated loan facility that will allow ACF, one of the main trading companies of Export Trading Group (ETG) to improve and expand its operations in Africa, with FMO acting as lead arranger.  The syndicated facility will indirectly support an estimated 600,000 smallholder farmers and the communities where they live and work, while also contributing to more sustainable and climate-resilient agricultural practices across the continent.  

ETG was established in 1967 as an independent African-based commodity trader. Since then, it has grown to become one of the world’s largest and fastest-growing integrated agricultural conglomerates with operating entities located in more than 50 countries. Its activities cover the entire farm-to-table value chain including procurement, warehousing, processing and/or manufacturing of finished food products, transportation, and distribution of fast-moving consumer goods. 

ETG owns and operates more than 120 processing plants and over 450 warehouses across the globe, with a storage capacity exceeding 2.5 million metric tonnes. The Group imports and exports a basket of commodities to and from 49 countries. ETG’s African footprint comprises 26 countries, including several least-developed countries.  

Pieternel Boogard, Director Agribusiness, Food, and Water of FMO, the Dutch entrepreneurial development bank, said: “We are very pleased to strengthen our commitment towards ETG's mission and empower smallholder farmers across Africa for a brighter future. ETG's impact and success contribute to a stronger African agricultural sector, which will reduce the poverty of smallholder farmers in Africa and improve their overall wellbeing through ETG’s sustainable and climate-smart programmes focused on agriculture and agro-processing. We are proud to have arranged this facility along with our fellow DFIs.” 

“The growth of ETG has been impressive and its contributions to the transformation of African agriculture equally so,” said Paulo Martelli, Chief Investment Officer of FinDev Canada. “By participating with other development finance institutions, such as FMO from The Netherlands and OeEB from Austria, we are helping ETG move to the next level of its development. The facility will help make agriculture and food production in Africa more efficient, more sustainable, and more beneficial to everyone.”  

“We are proud to join forces with ETG who has played a crucial role in agricultural development in Africa over the past decades”, added Sabine Gaber, Member of OeEB’s Executive Board. “Supporting smallholder farmers is especially important in light of the ongoing pandemic and growing effects of climate change. With this financing, we can support agricultural supply chains which contribute to food and job security for populations in need.”  

Anish Jain, ETG’s Chief Treasury Officer, said:  “We are fortunate to have like-minded partners such as FMO, FinDev and OeEB that are as passionate about Africa and its people.  ETG was built on the fundamental of elevating farmers’ livelihoods and bridging supply chain and infrastructure gaps in Africa. This facility will provide ETG with the necessary support to emphasize our efforts and augment our impact.” 

Enabling market growth 

The syndicated loan facility will allow ETG to strengthen and expand its operations across the agricultural value chain. Improved processing capacity and logistics will lead to less post-harvest crop loss and food waste.  These improvements will not only support the livelihood of existing farmers but also create an estimated 5,000 new jobs in Sub-Saharan Africa. With 35% of the jobs to be created in the continent’s least-developed countries and 50% being taken up by women, this will further contribute to SDG 10. In addition, this working capital loan will support access to critical food supplies across Africa.  

Development Finance Institutions and COVID-19 

DFIs such as FMO, FinDev Canada and OeEB are committed to remaining open for business to serve target regions during the COVID-19 pandemic. Investment will help ensure that liquidity continues to reach developing markets, helping them to recover from the economic and social consequences of this crisis. 

About FMO: 

FMO is the Dutch entrepreneurial development bank. As a leading impact investor, FMO supports sustainable private sector growth in developing countries and emerging markets by investing in ambitious projects and entrepreneurs. FMO believes that a strong private sector leads to economic and social development and has a close to 50-year proven track-record of empowering people to employ their skills and improve their quality of life. FMO focuses on three sectors that have high development impact: financial institutions, energy, and agribusiness, food & water. With a committed portfolio of EUR 9.7 billion spanning over 85 countries, FMO is one of the larger bilateral private sector developments banks globally. For more information: please visit www.fmo.nl  

About FinDev Canada:  

Development Finance Institute Canada Inc., operating under the FinDev Canada brand, is a Canadian institution dedicated to providing financial services to the private sector in developing countries with the aim of combating poverty through economic growth by focusing on three main themes: economic development through job creation, women’s economic empowerment, and climate change mitigation. The Development Finance Institute Canada Inc. is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Export Development Canada (EDC). Find out more about FinDev Canada here.  

About OeEB: 

Oesterreichische Entwicklungsbank AG (OeEB) has been operating as the Development Bank of Austria since March 2008. It specialises in the provision of long-term finance for the implementation of private sector projects in developing countries that create sustainable development. Additionally, OeEB provides technical assistance, which can be used to enhance the developmental impact of projects. For more information, please visit https://www.oe-eb.at/   

About ETG: 

ETG has developed into a global player with a diverse portfolio of expertise across various industries, encompassing agricultural inputs, logistics, merchandising, food processing and supply chain optimization.  The group has a global presence exceeding 50 countries spanning five continents.  For more information, please visit www.etgworld.com

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