AFEX, a Nigeria-based commodities platform that enables efficient trade for commodities in Africa, has raised $26.5 million in funding from British International Investment (BII), the UK’s development finance institution (DFI) and impact investor.
AFEX addresses the challenges faced by smallholder farmers by providing better access to inputs, credit facilities, micro-insurance, storage services, training, and markets. The company currently operates over 200 warehouses in Nigeria, Kenya, and Uganda, and serves over 450,000 farmers.
BII’s investment will support structural improvements in Africa’s agricultural industry, significantly benefiting smallholder farmers and leading to improvements in food security.
Specifically, BII’s investment will be used to:
- Build 20 modern warehouses in strategic locations in Nigeria, Kenya, and Uganda, providing 230,000 MT of storage capacity, enabling up to 200,000 more farmers to access low-cost storage and maximize sales from crop harvests, potentially helping increase farmer incomes by more than 200%.
- Develop a soybean processing plant in Ibadan, the third-largest city by population in Nigeria, and a drying facility in Uganda. The construction of the storage facilities and soy processing facilities will generate over 700 temporary jobs and more than 80 permanent roles.
- Scale warehouse technology and next-generation software that captures post-harvest pricing. Smart storage solutions have the potential to preserve the lifespan of harvested crops, and so increasing the volume of food available.
“This investment from British International Investment is a landmark moment in our mission to revolutionise agriculture and elevate food security across Africa. By directing fresh capital towards the development of technologically advanced warehouses and critical facilities, we are significantly enhancing market access and income potential for smallholder farmers. In alignment with UN SDGs, our mission is to enable Africa to feed itself efficiently and sustainably. Today’s investment doesn’t just propel AFEX’s growth, it forges a more secure and prosperous future for an entire continent,” said AFEX Group CEO Ayodeji Balogun.
BII’s investment in AFEX is a significant development for the agricultural sector in Africa. Smallholder farmers are the backbone of African agriculture, but they often face challenges in accessing markets and inputs. AFEX’s platform provides farmers with access to essential services and resources, helping them to increase their productivity and incomes.
The investment will also support the development of critical infrastructure, such as warehouses and processing facilities. This will help to reduce post-harvest losses and improve the quality of agricultural products.