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A Seed Fund to Boost Agribusiness in Africa

CDC Group, the UK government’s development investment arm, is taking a step to help bridge what it estimates is a funding gap of as much as $31bn that Africa’s agriculture and food industry faces each year. As banks withdraw funding from agriculture because of regulatory challenges, and with some larger players defaulting, institutions such as CDC have a significant role to play in plugging the shortfall, says spokesperson and investment director Brad Smith. “This is the biggest deal we have done in the corporate debt space,” he said in a video call. The agreement enables CDC to reach more than 500,000 farmers across 29 sub-Saharan African nations, from Mozambique and Tanzania to Kenya. The funding will target the least developed markets where ETG operates and will be deployed to provide farmers with financing, data analysis and training to boost the production of staple crops such as grains, rice and cocoa.