The Agri-Business Capital Fund – ABC Fund – has invested $1.8 million into Benin microfinance institution Union Nationale des Caisses Rurales d’Epargne et de Prêt. UNACREP offers short and long-term loans alongside microcredits for its members, collecting deposits, savings from members and clients, while building member capacity. In the past two decades. UNACREP has built a member network exceeding 130,000 members. Women and women-led groups make 48% of the borrowers. UNACREP is headquartered in Port Novo, Benin, with 65 branches and outlets countrywide.
The ABC Fund offers a credit facility to UNACREP which then uses the proceeds to further scale its agricultural portfolio. This investment helps UNACREP reach underserved smallholder farmers and cooperatives in that country, which makes up 70% of the employment – in turn contributing 30% of the country’s GDP. This investment will be directed towards the rural areas of Benin, particularly the country’s North where UNACREP has set up offices to cater to the needs of cotton growers.
The ABC Fund, a blended-finance impact fund, provides catalytic financing to underserved yet profitable segments of agribusiness value chains in developing countries. The fund has in turn supported farmer cooperatives in Côte d’Ivoire, agri-businesses in Mali, Burkina Faso, Ghana, Côte d’Ivoire, and other financial institutions in Uganda, Kenya, Bolivia, and Ecuador.
Managing Partner of Bamboo Capital Partners, Jean-Philippe de Schrevel, described the new developments as a “milestone moment as the ABC Fund.” Laurent Tolomé CEO UNACREP commented that “ABC Fund’s financing reinforces UNACREP’s expertise in agricultural financing.”
The ABC Fund was initiated by IFAD alongside the EU, the OACPS, the Luxembourg Government, and AGRA. IFAD’s investment has been made possible by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation.
— ABC Fund (@abcfund) October 25, 2021