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IFC invests $20m in Zambian agribusiness

The funding will support Agrivision Africa's $30 million expansion programme, including the modernisation of existing grain production operations.

International Finance Corp, the World Bank subsidiary, has committed $20 million in equity capital to Agrivision Africa, the Zambian agribusiness part-owned by Norfund, the Norwegian development finance institution.

The funding will support Agrivision’s $30 million expansion programme, including the modernisation of existing grain production operations. This upgrade and expansion of food and agri processing facilities in the region will increase food security in a region where 60 percent of the population rely on agribusiness for their livelihoods, according to an IFC press release.

“In addition to showcasing modern, efficient agricultural in a country with plentiful resources for food production, the project is expected to create jobs, contribute to the smaller businesses in the local economy, and apply IFC’s high environmental and social standards,” reads the release.

The IFC is aiming to invest and provide advice across the agribusiness value chain in Africa to improve the output of one million farmers on the continent by 2020, according to German Vegarra, IFC manufacturing, agribusiness, and services industry lead.

Agrivision was formally called Chayton Africa and is fully owned by Zeder Investments, which owns majority stakes in a range of different food and agriculture businesses in Africa and is in turn part-owned by Norfund. The company is a large scale farming business in wheat, soya beans and maize as well as milling in Zambia. Earlier this year, the World Bank’s political risk insurance arm, The Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA), guaranteed Agrivision’s wheat milling operation for $23.8 million.