Nigeria’s AFEX, a commodities platform, has secured a significant $26.5 million in funding from the UK’s development finance institution, British International Investment (BII), and an impact investor.
AFEX, based in Abuja, operates a platform that makes trading commodities in Africa more efficient.
The company has three business units that address challenges faced by small-scale farmers, offering them improved access to resources, credit, insurance, storage, training, and markets.
AFEX currently manages over 200 warehouses in Nigeria, Kenya, and Uganda, serving more than 450,000 farmers.
The $26.5 million funding from BII will support structural enhancements in Africa’s agricultural sector, particularly benefiting small-scale farmers and enhancing food security.
BII’s investment will be used to construct 20 modern warehouses strategically located in Nigeria, Kenya, and Uganda.
This capital will also be used to scale warehouse technology and next-generation software for post-harvest pricing. Smart storage solutions can extend the shelf life of harvested crops, increasing the food supply.
The new warehouses will provide storage for 230,000 metric tons, enabling an additional 200,000 farmers to access affordable storage and maximise their crop sales.
This could potentially raise farmers’ incomes by more than 200%, vital for ensuring their sustainability and the production of higher quality crops for local consumption.
BII’s capital will also support the development of a soybean processing plant in Ibadan, Nigeria, and a drying facility in Uganda. The construction of these facilities will generate more than 700 temporary jobs and over 80 permanent positions.
The CEO of AFEX Group, Ayodeji Balogun, expressed that this investment marks a significant moment in their mission to transform agriculture and enhance food security in Africa.
By investing in advanced warehouses and critical facilities, they aim to improve market access and income opportunities for small-scale farmers, aligning with UN Sustainable Development Goals to ensure efficient and sustainable food production in Africa.
This investment not only fuels AFEX’s growth but also paves the way for a more secure and prosperous future for the entire continent.