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Agribusinesses asked to take advantage of AGRA's Dealroom

By Prossy Nandudu

Added 8th August 2020 02:48 PM

The Deal Room will facilitate close to 200 companies, 15 African governments and over 50 investors and financial institutions.

Agribusinesses asked to take advantage of AGRA's Dealroom

Dr Agnes Kalibata, President AGRA at the Africa Status report launch last year. Photo by Prossy Nandudu

The Deal Room will facilitate close to 200 companies, 15 African governments and over 50 investors and financial institutions.

FARMING|AGRIBUSINESS

Small and Medium Enterprises in agriculture, looking for  funds to increase production have been asked to take advantage of the newly launched Agribusiness deal room that will take place between the 8th to 11th September to attract investors.

The deal room, an initiative of the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA), brings together SME's in Agriculture and investors interested in financing agriculture related projects.

It is conducted every year, during the Africa Green Revolution Forum (AGRF) in different countries, but due to the spread of COVID 19, the one week forum will be a virtual event and will be hosted by the government of Rwanda.

The deal room was launched for African countries by AGRA's President Dr.Agnes Kalibata, who called on especially women in agribusiness to take advantage of the deal room, re-organize their businesses and attract investments.

She said the Agribusiness Deal Room is a platform that will drive African-led and inclusive investments in Agriculture.

"Governments want private sector to succeed, from SMEs through to large enterprises to build national and continental food security and prosperity. We however have to support our SME's, especially women entrepreneurs to find these growth opportunities" Kalibata said.

She explained that the Deal Room will facilitate close to 200 companies, 15 African governments and over 50 investors and financial institutions.

Partners will also host the Sourcing in Africa alliance, composed of large anchor buyers, farmer organizations, SMEs, traders, development partners, NGOs to build alliances and larger-scale trade deals to increase sustainable buying from African farmers.

For Ugandan Agribusinesses to participate, the Uganda country manager for AGRA, Dr.John Jagwe said they are working with Uganda Investment Authority and other government agencies to prepare SMES in need of funding so as to make it to the dealroom.

 Other agencies being brought on board include the Uganda Development Corporation, Uganda Development Bank, Private sector foundation among others.

"We bring on UIA because it has the mandate to attract investment into the country and is working with other agencies like UDC, UDB to help government make key investment decisions within Agriculture. When we bring them on board, we shall be joining efforts to make very accurate agriculture investments," said Jagwe.

To help Ugandan agribusinesses reach the dealroom, Jagwe said they are working with organizations like the Commercial Agriculture for Smallholders and Agribusiness (CASA) to identify challenges failing the two parties (Agribusinesses in need of funding and investors) from meeting to make better investment decisions.

Hans Muzoora, from CASA added that through their research, investors claim that agriculture is too risky. We are working with agribusinesses investors while bridging the gap by helping them come up with ready business models that will attract investors.

"Such modals should indicate, expected output, increased income, number of small scale farmers attached to the SME, management practices for example post-harvest handling, among others so support them   through technical assistance to derisk the enterprise," Muzoora added.

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