AFEX, a commodities platform based in Nigeria, has successfully secured a $26.5 million investment from British International Investment (BII), which is the UK’s development finance institution and an impact investor.
Operating as a commercial platform, AFEX specializes in enhancing the trade of commodities across Africa.
AFEX is dedicated to aiding smallholder farmers with its three distinct operational divisions. It provides comprehensive support by increasing their access to essential resources such as inputs, financing, microinsurance, storage facilities, training, and market opportunities.
With an impressive network of over 200 warehouses, the company supports more than 450,000 farmers across Nigeria, Kenya, and Uganda. This substantial support to smallholder farmers in Africa is set to be significantly enhanced thanks to the $26.5 million investment from BII, which promises to bring transformative structural changes to the agricultural sector.
British International Investment’s contribution marks a pivotal step in our endeavor to transform agriculture and boost food security throughout Africa. This investment funds new capital into creating state-of-the-art warehouses and essential facilities. This move will substantially improve market access and the earning capacity of smallholder farmers. Our commitment aligns with the UN Sustainable Development Goals, aiming to make Africa self-sufficient in food production efficiently and sustainably. Today’s funding not only accelerates AFEX’s expansion but also paves the way for a more stable and affluent future for the entire continent,” stated AFEX Group CEO Ayodeji Balogun.
The financing from BII will enable the construction of twenty advanced storage facilities in prominent locations across Nigeria, Kenya, and Uganda. This investment will also facilitate an upgrade to the current warehouse management system and support the development of sophisticated software for monitoring post-harvest prices. By extending the freshness of harvested products, these innovative storage solutions can significantly boost food production.
The new warehouses, boasting a storage capacity of 230,000 metric tons, are set to benefit up to 200,000 additional farmers. This significant expansion in storage space is expected to lead to a dramatic increase in farm incomes, potentially exceeding a 200% growth. This development is crucial in sustaining these farmers’ livelihoods and enhancing the quality and quantity of locally produced crops.
Moreover, the investment will be directed towards establishing a drying facility in Uganda and constructing a soybean processing plant in Ibadan, Nigeria’s third most populous city.
The construction of these warehouses and soy processing facilities is anticipated to generate over 700 short-term jobs and more than 80 long-term employment opportunities.