On 15 March, IFC announced a partnership with agCelerant and Bank of Africa to help smallholder farmers and small businesses in Senegal's rice value chain to gain easy access financing for growth
Under the partnership, which is supported by the Private Sector Window of the Global Agriculture and Food Security Programme (GAFSP), IFC will invest the local currency equivalent of US$7.2mn in a risk-sharing facility to support Bank of Africa-Senegal's lending to thousands of smallholder rice farmers and small rice producing businesses, helping them access to insurance, inputs and equipment, including seeds, fertilisers, and harvesters.
Bank of Africa plans to maximise the impact of its lending by leveraging the support of agCelerant, an agritech company that offers data-driven solutions and training to ensure farmers receive the financial and technical support they need to increase their productivity.
IFC will also provide advisory services to agCelerant to strengthen its agri-related risk management practices, support its agri-sector strategy development, and to further enhance its digitisation and value chain orchestration capacities. IFC's support will help address the financial and technical bottlenecks hindering the development of a strong rice value chain and support increased local production.
Moreover, this new partnership aligns with IFC's US$6bn global food security platform to strengthen the private sector's ability to respond to the current food crisis and help support food production in the context of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, which has further exacerbated the global food insecurity situation.