AFEX has received a commitment of USD 26.5 Million from the British International Investment (BII), the UK’s development finance institution and impact investor, marking a significant stride towards addressing food security issues in Nigeria, Kenya, and Uganda. This strategic partnership aims to enhance agricultural productivity, improve food security, and ultimately lead to an increase in farmer income.
This investment will facilitate the construction of 20 modern warehouses in strategic locations across Nigeria, Kenya, and Uganda, expanding AFEX’s existing network of over 200 warehouses. These additional facilities will provide 230,000 MT of storage capacity, enabling up to 200,000 more farmers to access low-cost storage solutions, maximise sales from crop harvests, and potentially increase their incomes by more than 200 percent.
The new warehouses will improve access to markets, facilitate trade, and contribute to addressing the financial challenges faced by farmers in these countries. Agriculture plays a critical role in the economies of Nigeria, Kenya, and Uganda, accounting for a quarter of GDP and employing 70 percent of their populations, 80 percent of whom are smallholder and subsistence farmers.
BII’s investment will also be channeled towards scaling warehouse technology and next-generation software that captures post-harvest pricing, providing smart storage solutions to preserve the lifespan of harvested crops and increase the volume of food available.
In addition to improving storage infrastructure, the funds will be used to develop a soybean processing plant in Ibadan, Nigeria, and a drying facility in Uganda. These facilities will generate over 700 temporary jobs and more than 80 permanent roles, contributing to the economic growth and job creation in these regions.
The signing of the partnership agreement was witnessed by notable figures including British Deputy High Commissioner in Lagos Jonny Baxter, BII Chief Executive Officer Nick O’Donohoe, and AFEX Group CEO Ayodeji Balogun.
Speaking about the investment, Nick O’Donohoe highlighted the importance of supporting technology-driven companies like AFEX to reduce Africa’s food import bill, which has reached approximately USD 30 billion in recent decades. He emphasized the role of AFEX in supporting smallholder farmers to increase local food production and boost their incomes.
Ayodeji Balogun, AFEX Group CEO, expressed his enthusiasm about the investment, stating that it is a landmark moment in AFEX’s mission to revolutionize agriculture and elevate food security across Africa. He underscored the impact of the investment on enhancing market access and income potential for smallholder farmers, aligning with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of Zero Hunger, Decent Work and Economic Growth, and Responsible Consumption and Production.
Jonny Baxter, British Deputy High Commissioner in Lagos, expressed pride in BII’s support and highlighted the significant role of the agricultural sector in Nigeria’s economy, job creation, and investment potential.
This investment from BII not only propels AFEX’s growth but also forges a more secure and prosperous future for an entire continent, contributing significantly to the advancement of food security and agricultural productivity in Africa.