Nigeria-based commodities platform AFEX has raised US$26.5 million in funding from British International Investment (BII), the UK’s development finance institution (DFI) and impact investor.
The Abuja-based AFEX is a platform business that enables efficient trade for commodities in Africa. Operating through three business units, AFEX addresses the challenges faced by smallholder farmers, 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. It has now banked US$26.5 million in funding from BII, which will support structural improvements in Africa’s agricultural industry, significantly benefitting smallholder farmers and leading to improvements in food security.
BII’s investment will be used to build 20 modern warehouses in strategic locations in Nigeria, Kenya, and Uganda. Its capital will also 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.
The additional warehouses will provide 230,000 MT of storage capacity, enabling up to 200,000 more farmers to access low-cost storage and maximise sales from crop harvests, potentially helping increase farmer incomes by more than 200 per cent. Supporting smallholder farmers to achieve a fair wage is vital to ensure they remain in operation, producing more and higher quality crops for local consumption.
BII’s capital will also be used to 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.
“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,” AFEX Group CEO Ayodeji Balogun said.