USAID and Oikocredit join forces to bring financing to agriculture in West Africa

Oikocredit Regional Director and US Embassy Chargé d'affaires at the press conference
Oikocredit Regional Director and US Embassy Chargé d'affaires at the press conference
Soro Yacouba @US Embassy Côte d'Ivoire

A new USAID facility of up to US $ 24 million will guarantee Oikocredit loans to smallholder farmers in cashew, fruit and cereal value chains

For Immediate Release

Thursday, November 17, 2016
Anani Yao Kuwornu

The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) mission in Côte d’Ivoire along with the USAID Development Credit Authority (DCA) and social investor Oikocredit today announced a new partnership to support agriculture in West Africa.

The three-year partnership will see USAID DCA provide a guarantee facility of up to US $ 24 million on loans that Oikocredit will provide in West Africa to small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), cooperatives and associations involved in export-oriented (regional and international) agricultural value chains.

Through the guarantee facility the risks of lending are shared and Oikocredit is able to provide more loans, which helps to extend access to finance for smallholder farmers of cashew, cereals, livestock, mango, shea and other agricultural value chains.

Investing in agriculture is one of the most effective ways of reducing rural poverty and improving food security. This partnership with USAID is an essential component of Oikocredit’s agriculture investment strategy in West Africa.

Oikocredit has invested in West Africa for more than 30 years and currently finances partner organizations in Benin, Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Mali, Senegal and Togo. Oikocredit’s investments in sustainable agriculture provide farmers with the opportunity to participate in competitive successfully in local, regional and international markets.

During today’s launch, Chargé d’Affaires of the U.S. Embassy in Abidjan said, “The United States has been a leader in catalyzing entrepreneurship globally by developing innovative ecosystems; advocating for stronger business climates; promoting entrepreneurship for women, youth, and marginalized communities; and mobilizing the private sector to expand impact.  This credit guarantee is part of a broader range of USG assistance in Côte d’Ivoire and the region, to promote trade and economic growth.” 

Oikocredit’s regional director for West Africa, Yves Komaclo, said: “We are very excited to enter into this partnership, which builds on a successful, long-established relationship between Oikocredit and USAID.

“This guarantee facility dedicated to agricultural SMEs will help us securely grow our agriculture portfolio through increased exposure to the cashew, fruit and cereal sectors, which all have strong development impact. It will also support our expansion into plantation rejuvenation projects and facilitate our support of certified smallholder cooperatives and socially responsible SMEs.”