Nigeria-based commodities platform, AFEX, has received a capital injection of $26.5 million from British International Investment (BII), which is the UK’s development finance institution (DFI) and impact investor.
As a commercial platform, AFEX, through its three divisions of operation, helps its 450,000+ smallholder farmers in Nigeria, Kenya, and Uganda overcome challenges by expanding their access to inputs, financing, microinsurance, storage, training, and markets.
Currently operating an expansive network of 200+ warehouses, the financing from BII will enable the construction of 20 advanced storage facilities in prominent locations across Nigeria, Kenya, and Uganda. This investment will also facilitate an upgrade to the current warehouse management system and support the development of sophisticated software for monitoring post-harvest prices. By extending the freshness of harvested products, these innovative storage solutions can significantly boost food production.
The new warehouses, boasting a storage capacity of 230,000 metric tons, are set to benefit up to 200,000 additional farmers. This significant expansion in storage space is expected to lead to a dramatic increase in farm incomes, potentially exceeding a 200% growth. This development is crucial in sustaining these farmers’ livelihoods and enhancing the quality and quantity of locally produced crops.
The investment will also be directed towards establishing a drying facility in Uganda and constructing a soybean processing plant in Ibadan, Nigeria’s third most populous city.
The construction of these warehouses and soy processing facilities is anticipated to generate over 700 short-term jobs and more than 80 long-term employment opportunities.
AFEX was founded in 2014 by Nigerian entrepreneur, Ayodeji Balogun, as Nigeria’s first licensed private commodities exchange.