One of Nigeria’s foremost social impact enterprises, Babban Gona has received the first loan of US$5 million by the UN’s International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD).
IFAD’s new investment initiative is a Private Sector Financing Programme (PSFP) to spearhead an increase in much-needed private investment in small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), farmers’ organisations and financial intermediaries servicing small-scale farmers, which are too often neglected by investors. It will provide loans, risk management instruments (such as guarantees), and equity investments.
As part of its launch, the PFSP announced its first loan of US$5 million to a Nigerian social impact enterprise, Babban Gona, which has a strong background in successfully moving small-scale farmers from subsistence to a more market-orientated model.
The loan will help Babban Gona support 377,000 small-scale rice and maize producers in Nigeria with a comprehensive package of training, quality inputs, and marketing services. Babban Gona will also store and sell the harvest on behalf of its farmers when prices are higher. They aim to create up to 65,000 jobs for women and 66,500 jobs for youth by 2025. By committing these funds, the PSFP aims to stimulate larger contributions from other investors and help Babban Gona meet its target to raise $150 million to reach millions of small producers.
“We can end poverty and hunger! But to achieve this, we urgently need to stimulate more private sector investments to rural areas and unlock the immense entrepreneurial potential of millions of rural SMEs and small producers,” said Gilbert F. Houngbo, President of IFAD. “With access to capital, they can attract more investors and partners, grow their businesses and create employment opportunities – especially for young people and women.”
IFAD invests in rural people, empowering them to reduce poverty, increase food security, improve nutrition and strengthen resilience. Since 1978, we have provided US$23.2 billion in grants and low-interest loans to projects that have reached an estimated 518 million people. IFAD is an international financial institution and a United Nations specialised agency based in Rome – the United Nations food and agriculture hub.
Culled from https://thenationonlineng.net/babban-gona-nigerias-social-enterprise-firm-gets-5m-ifad-loan/