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AgDevCo secures £55 million to expand small farmer support in Africa

U.K.-based agribusiness impact investor AgDevCo has secured £55 million ($71 million) from the U.K.’s Department for International Development (DFID) to expand operations to Kenya and the Ivory Coast, in addition to the eight African countries where the organization currently invests.

AgDevCo has invested in 55 early-stage farming and agribusiness companies on the African continent since launching in 2009. Its investments include poultry ventures in Rwanda and Malawi; businesses creating agricultural export linkages in Zambia and Mozambique; and a hydro energy project that is powering a tea factor and nearby community in Tanzania.

Lending for African Farming: Financing the Other 90 Percent of Smallholder Agriculture

Overall, AgDevCo says its capital and technical assistance has supported 7,500 jobs and 425,000 small farmers. The new funds from DFID will allow AgDevCo to expand its impact to four million people.

DFID’s backing is part of a £98 million initiative to boost Africa’s agricultural sector. “By 2050, one in four people on the planet will be African. Producing enough food for the growing population is a both a huge challenge and a very important opportunity for inclusive economic growth, investment and poverty reduction,” DFID’s statement on the new funding says.

AgDevCo received the largest share of funds; funding also went to the Global Alliance for Livestock Veterinary Medicines; the Gates Foundation’s planned Food Trade and Resilience program; and Agri-Tech Catalyst, a research investment initiative.

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