The eco.business Fund, in partnership with FutureWater and Export Trading Group (ETG), one of the largest integrated agricultural supply chain managers and processors in sub-Saharan Africa, has launched a pilot project in Kenya for data-driven agricultural intensification. This project aims to improve farmer productivity and profitability whilst enhancing the environmental risk management and climate resilience of Kenya’s maize, coffee, and tea crops through improved soil and crop nutrition management.
A consortium led by FutureWater will collaborate with ETG agronomists and the Empowering Farmers Foundation (EFF) to work together with 60 selected maize, coffee, and tea farmers from around the country to implement Climate Smart Agricultural practices, such as crop rotation to rejuvenate soil nutrients, or mulching to reduce weeds and water erosion.
By using drones to monitor the application of these sustainable crop interventions from the selected farms, the project team will also be able to use the data to assess crop productivity improvements, create crop calendars to increase harvest yields, and understand land use changes to protect encroachment into biodiverse areas. Soil samples will also be collected and analyzed to identify soil nutrition deficiencies and design appropriate soil enhancement measures that will be implemented on demo farms. The success of this pilot project will provide learnings on how it can be scaled up to reach more farmers and assess its replicability across different geographic locations. Ms. Lisa Stahl, Chairperson of the eco.business Development Facility for sub-Saharan Africa, stated: “We welcome the launch of this project with ETG. Not only will it contribute to enhancing the sustainability of ETG’s sourcing operations, but the project will also serve as a model for leveraging modern technology and data analytics for sustainable agricultural intensification.”
About the eco.business Fund
The eco.business Fund aims to promote business and consumption practices that contribute to biodiversity conservation, to the sustainable use of natural resources, and to mitigate climate change and adapt to its impacts in Latin America, the Caribbean, and sub-Saharan Africa. By providing financing for business practices that conserve nature and foster biodiversity, the fund seeks investments with both environmental and financial returns. The eco.business Fund provides financing through three avenues: local financial institutions that are committed to the fund’s mission and which have the capacity to reach its target group; directly to its target group (i.e. companies and producers); and in the case of sub-Saharan Africa, to real sector intermediaries. The fund supports sustainable operations in the sectors of agriculture, fishery (including aquaculture), forestry and tourism. Target beneficiaries are those that hold an eligible sustainability certification or those taking out a loan to make eligible sustainable investments in their operations.
Operating together with each of the two sub-funds, are two development facilities that provide high-impact technical assistance to investment partners and final borrowers.
An impact investment fund advised by Finance in Motion, the eco.business Fund was initiated by Germany’s KfW Development Bank and Conservation International with financial support from the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). The sub-fund for sub-Saharan Africa was formally launched in 2020 with initial funding from BMZ. The sub-fund for Latin America and the Caribbean has received funding from the European Commission as well as from numerous other prestigious development finance institutions and institutional investors.
For more information, please visit www.ecobusiness.fund and follow them on Twitter @ecobusinessfund
About Export Trading Group (ETG)
Export Trading Group (ETG) is one of the largest and fastest growing integrated agricultural supply chain managers and processors in Sub-Saharan Africa, with operations across 48 countries globally. ETG has developed a diverse portfolio of expertise across multiple industries, encompassing agricultural inputs, logistics, merchandising and processing, supply chain optimization, digital transformation and energy.
For more information, please visit www.etgworld.com
About Empowering Farmers Foundation (EFF)
Since 2013, EFF has been working with smallholder farming communities in Eastern and Southern Africa and has actively engaged with thousands of farmers in cereals, oil seeds, legumes and other value chains. The Foundation aims to stimulate growth in the agricultural sector and foster the development of rural economies by supporting smallholder farmers to move from subsistence farming to farming for business. Through its extension model it works closely with farmers to provide good agronomic practices and business training, while facilitating access to inputs, financial services and guaranteed markets. EFF collaborates closely with local government authorities, semi-autonomous agencies, and rural extension staff, who are critical for the implementation of project activities. About 40% of the target group that EFF reaches are women farmers and agri-preneurs.
For more information, visit www.eff.dev
The project is funded by: