AFEX, Nigeria’s leading commodities exchange and commodities market player, has expanded into Kenya.
As part of the expansion, the company has launched a $1 million loan program to allow farmers to access seed and fertiliser for their crops.
Under the program, 5000 Kenyan farmers can take out input loans to access timely inputs and gradually scale their businesses.
The company aims to replicate its success in Nigeria by securing better livelihoods for smallholder farmers and enabling seamless access to pan-African commodities trading across the continent while bolstering its food security.
AFEX Kenya’s team is led by Managing Director Tabitha Njuguna, who oversaw its successful pilot phase in the last quarter of 2021.
During the period, maize was the main commodity traded. There are plans to add rice, sorghum, and coffee to the exchange in the coming months.
In addition to Kenya, AFEX plans to expand to Benin, Togo, Ghana, Côte d’Ivoire, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Uganda, and Zambia within the next ten years.
Ayodeji Balogun, CEO at AFEX, said, “This is one of the most dynamic commodities markets in the world. We are acutely aware that increasing food production is futile without an efficient and robust warehousing system to underpin commodities trading and that technology is key to developing the whole agriculture space in Africa in the coming years. We are excited to work with Kenyan farmers to help them scale their operations.
“We want to dismantle one of the biggest barriers for farmers growing their business – access to finance. So far, we have enabled 70 per cent of the 5,000 Kenyan farmers who approached AFEX for input loans. We are committed to empowering many more farmers over the next few months,” Tabitha Njuguna, MD, AFEX Fair Trade Limited (AFTL) Kenya, disclosed.