Oikocredit and Symbiotics invest $30.75m in support West Africa cocoa and cashew value chains
Symbiotics, the leading market access platform for impact investing, dedicated to financing micro, small and medium enterprises and low and middle-income households in emerging and frontier markets, and Social impact investor and worldwide cooperative Oikocredit have extended a loan to the value of $30.75 Million to Agri Commodities & Finance FZ-LLC, the UAE subsidiary of Export Trading Group (ETG), one of the largest and fastest growing integrated agricultural supply chain managers and processors in sub-Saharan Africa.
ETG is a key player in the global agriculture market, offering a diverse basket of products through its established supply chain across five continents. The loan will support growth in ETG’s Cocoa and Cashew operations for the next three years in West Africa.
This partnership will facilitate the sourcing of certified cocoa beans and traceable cashew nuts from smallholder farmers and cooperatives in Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, and Nigeria, and strengthen ETG’s sustainability programmes in these countries.
ETG connects smallholder farmers to global markets and has a substantial impact at smallholder level, particularly through its Beyond Beans programmes. The programmes focus on developing smallholder farms and their communities by implementing environmental projects. For example, the Cocoa & Forests Initiative delivers forest farmer group training, land and tree tenure, individual farmer coaching, seedling distribution and farmer empowerment.
Anish Jain, ETG’s Chief Treasury Officer, stated: “We are extremely grateful for the support of Symbiotics and Oikocredit, which will help us support our cashew and cocoa operations in West Africa, and will help enhance agricultural value chains and the livelihoods of smallholder farmers in this region to help in building a sustainable future.”
Vincent Lehner, Symbiotics’ Head of Markets, said: “Agriculture and rural development have been crucial for economic growth in most African countries. We are delighted to start our partnership with ETG, we believe the Group’s impact and success are helping to strengthen Africa’s agricultural sector, which will reduce poverty among smallholder farmers on the continent.”
Yves Komaclo, Oikocredit’s Investment Manager for West Africa, stated: “We are very pleased to support ETG, as their focus on smallholder farmers aligns well with Oikocredit’s mission. Our collaboration will help sustain a market outlet for cocoa and cashew farmers, then in turn, improve livelihoods of farmer communities and contribute to the professionalisation of affiliated farmer organisations.”