Financial boost for agri-business good news for small scale farmers

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An approved loan facility from the African Development Bank (AfDB) to the Meridian group is good news for some small scale farmers in southern Africa.

This $20 million facility was procured for the financing of Merdian’s agricultural operations in Malawi, Mozambique and Zimbabwe.

“It will enable the bank to reach small-scale farmers indirectly through a regional aggregator (Meridian) that understands the market in which it has accumulated a 40-year track record, understands the operational risks and is able to mitigate and manage them,” the AfDB said in a statement.

The AfDB says the aim of the facility is to provide financial assistance for the several roles Meridian plays in the value chain of soft commodities.

The availability of approved credit will allow Meridian to provide farmers with quality farming inputs to ensure “consistent and quality” harvests from the farm; and to provide capital to enable Meridian to process these commodities for the export market.

The AfDB said Meridian was considered for the loan because it plays an important role in promoting agribusiness in Malawi, Mozambique, South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe. Its operations also line up with four of the Banks’ High 5 development priorities: Light up and power Africa, feed Africa, industrialise Africa, integrate Africa and improve the quality of life for Africans.

Meridian has subsidiaries in several southern African countries, including Farmers World, the Malawi Fertilizing Company, Grain Securities Ltd and Demeter Seed, all supplying among others fertilizer, seed and hardware products.

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