ESTHER MSETEKA, Lusaka
ZAMBIA is among sub-Saharan African countries to benefit from the African Development Bank (AfDB) Group approved US$100 million facility to finance Export Trading Group (ETG) for soft commodity value chain operations in the region.
The soft commodity finance facility is one of the core trade finance instruments in the bank, innovatively structured to provide pre – and post-shipment finance along various stages of ETG’s commodity value chain operations in the 17 countries expected to benefit from the initiative.
ETG’s investment programmes will consist of fertiliser projects in Kenya and Zambia, while processing plants for rice, cashew, maize, sesame, cotton, and biscuit in Kenya, Tanzania, Zambia, Mozambique, Togo, Ethiopia, Benin, Zimbabwe, Nigeria and Uganda. The multi-commodity warehouses will be in Burkina Faso, Malawi, Zimbabwe, Niger, Benin, Nigeria, Zambia and Ethiopia and Silos in Zimbabwe.
According to a statement availed to the Daily Mail last week, the intervention will help local farmers and soft commodity suppliers in the named countries grow their revenues and produce quality crops for export.
“The facility will be used to finance the buying of identified agricultural commodities from over 600,000 farmers. Upon acquisition of the soft commodities, the soft commodity finance facility will provide working capital to ETG.
“Consequently, enabling the company engage in value addition and processing of the soft commodities such as cashew nuts prior to exports, and provide funding to procure farm inputs mainly fertiliser components for blending, to be supplied to farmers so as to ensure consistency and quality of the commodities being supplied to ETG,” the statement reads.
It says ETG plays a significant role in the promotion of agribusiness in countries where agriculture is on average the biggest employer.