AFEX, Nigeria’s main commodities alternate and commodities market participant, publicizes its enlargement into Kenya, following a profitable pilot section in probably the most diversified economic system in East Africa. As a part of the enlargement, AFEX Honest Commerce Restricted (AFTL), has launched a $1 million mortgage program that may enable farmers to realize entry to seed and fertiliser for his or her crops, to mitigate ever rising commodities costs. Beneath this system, 5000 Kenyan farmers will have the ability to take out enter loans to entry well timed inputs and step by step scale their companies.
A part of the corporate’s broader pan-African development targets, the enlargement will enable AFEX to copy its success in Nigeria in securing higher livelihoods for smallholder farmers and allow seamless entry to pan-African commodities buying and selling throughout the continent, whereas bolstering the continent’s meals safety. Lately named first within the Monetary Instances (FT) rating of Africa’s Quickest-Rising Corporations – Agriculture & Commodities class 2022, AFEX is bringing its depth of expertise, and distinctive storage and distribution options to Kenya, with a purpose of buying and selling over 500,000 metric tonnes of agricultural commodities by 2025. As of November 2021, analysts estimate 7.9 million individuals in Kenya lacked enough meals for consumption, which represents 15.4 % of Kenya’s inhabitants.
AFEX allows farmers to take part in market alternatives by means of its distinctive platform WorkBench. The platform permits farmer transactions with AFEX’s community of warehouses to be executed and recorded, supporting seamless commerce throughout the eight warehouses presently operational in Kenya. AFEX Kenya’s new 14-strong crew is headed up by Managing Director, Tabitha Njuguna, who oversaw its profitable pilot section, throughout which period maize was the primary commodity traded. There are plans so as to add rice, sorghum, and occasional to the alternate within the coming months.
In Uasin Gishu County, within the North Rift area of Kenya, AFEX recognized quite a lot of challenges for native producers, together with entry to inexpensive storage amenities, which meant many farmers storing their crops at residence. Moreover, regardless of a excessive stage of mechanization, in addition to comparatively expansive land holdings, producers discover themselves minimize off from alternatives to promote their produce, typically counting on middlemen. AFEX launched its Kenyan pilot operations within the final quarter of 2021, and has already recorded vital outcomes, with over 4,000 metric tonnes of commodities traded and an estimated 7,100 served by AFEX.
The Kenya enlargement indicators AFEX’s infrastructure dedication throughout the continent because it exports its enterprise mannequin to key strategic places. Along with Kenya, AFEX plans to develop to Benin, Togo, Ghana, Côte d’Ivoire, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Uganda, and Zambia throughout the subsequent 10 years. Having constructed itself from the bottom up in an agricultural sector broadly perceived as one troublesome for companies to function in, AFEX is anticipating sturdy development and vital measurable impression in Kenya’s comparatively extra developed agricultural sector. Kenyan farmers have, on common, bigger holdings than their Nigerian counterparts, along with higher developed storage and distribution amenities.
Ayodeji Balogun, CEO at AFEX stated, “This is among the most dynamic commodities markets on the earth and we’re excited to work with Kenyan farmers to assist them scale their operations. We’re acutely conscious that growing meals manufacturing is futile with out an environment friendly and strong warehousing system to underpin commodities buying and selling, and that expertise is essential to creating the entire agriculture house in Africa within the coming years.
“I began my profession constructing capital markets in East Africa and perceive the challenges of a fragmented provide chain, inefficient value constructions and market volatility. We’ve been massively inspired by what we’ve seen since our pilot section rolled out with 1000’s extra farmers experiencing productiveness, worth seize and entry to structured mechanisms for commodity buying and selling in Kenya. With our expertise of serving to farmers to instantly entry markets, we’re uniquely positioned to assist Kenyan farmers contribute to their nationwide meals safety whereas making certain sustainable improvement for future generations.”
Tabitha Njuguna, MD, AFEX Honest Commerce Restricted (AFTL) Kenya, added, “The expertise powering our operations is among the finest on the continent and is instrumental to our capability to supply entry to logistics supply, advisory companies, inputs, and crucially, entry to the market, that are all key to the way forward for agriculture in Africa. We need to dismantle one of many largest boundaries for farmers rising their enterprise – entry to finance. Thus far, we’re delighted to have enabled 70 % of the 5,000 Kenyan farmers who approached AFEX for enter loans and we’re dedicated to empowering many extra farmers over the following few months.”
AFEX works carefully with smallholder farmers and makes use of its distinctive tech options to extend yields and productiveness. The corporate has offered help to over 350,000 farmers throughout main grain-growing states in Nigeria. AFEX has over 126 warehouses in Nigeria with a storage capability of 314,000MT. Since its launch in 2014, AFEX has dedicated to levelling-up Africa’s agro-tech sector. By bridging the hole between Agro-processors and buyers, AFEX boosts meals safety and makes meals manufacturing extra environment friendly.