Brussels, 12 May 2020/ACP: In light of the current performance of the Agri-Business Capital Fund (ABC Fund) launched in February 2019, stakeholders have proposed an expansion of the Fund to the Caribbean and Pacific Regions of the OACPS which are currently not served by the Fund.

The Virtual Meeting for the third Programme Steering Committee for the
Farmers’ Organisation for OACPS Programme and the Agri-Business Capital
Fund, both of which are being implemented by the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), was organized by the OACPS in collaboration with the European Union (EU).

At the meeting held on 7 May 2020, participants discussed the 2019 activities and the 2020 work plan and budget, including achievements and challenges. Covid-19 and potential effects on food supply chains also featured on the agenda.

The participants emphasized the need to strengthen synergies between the two programmes with a view to facilitating the sourcing of pipeline projects for the ABC Fund, which is an investment facility. They also stressed that the ABC Fund should be expanded to the Pacific and Caribbean Regions.

The ABC Fund was launched by IFAD, along with the EU, the OACPS, the government of Luxembourg and the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) to help rural entrepreneurs in the agricultural sector access the necessary finance for business growth and job creation for poor, rural people, in particular for the youth.

The Fund aims to generate private sector investment in rural small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), farmers’ organizations and smallholder farmers’ groups which often find it hard to secure finance from traditional institutions who view them as too risky.

See also: Innovative impact fund to create jobs for rural youth in developing countries

Photo: © IFAD