LAFCo targets commercial SMEs and farmer cooperatives that have limited access to working capital, but are able to responsibly repay loans.
The portfolio includes African SMEs that meet the facility’s borrower criteria in various value chains and business types. LAFCo plays an additive role in the market by providing loans to businesses that face barriers to accessing working capital from the local financial sector for reasons such as overly stringent security requirements, cumbersome loan approval and disbursement processes, and prohibitive or opaque pricing.
LAFCo launched in June, 2015 and is currently evaluating loan applications in East and West Africa.
Uganda: Gulu Agricultural Development Company (GADC)
GADC is a private enterprise that operates a cotton gin and sources organic and conventional cotton, sesame, chilies, and sunflower from over 80,000 smallholder farmers in northern, Uganda, a region recovering from nearly 25 years of armed conflict and civil strife that left the region the poorest in the country. In addition to providing a stable, premium market for smallholder farmers, GADC provides critical agronomic training, agricultural inputs, and productive equipment through an expansive team of extension staff.
Percent Female Producers
WHICH BUSINESS CAN QUALIFY FOR A LOAN?
LAFCo lends to agricultural SMEs across the value chain that work directly with smallholder farmers, and which have constrained access to working capital. Given the cross-value chain focus, LAFCo borrowers could be agro-dealers or input providers, cooperatives, outgrower schemes, processors, traders or logistics providers.
The primary focus of LAFCo is on agricultural SMEs that advance local food security. This includes SMEs working in food crop value chains, specifically those involved in domestic and intra-Africa trade. Secondarily, and to a lesser extent, LAFCo will also lend to SMEs that work in cash crops for the overseas export market, primarily in the interest of portfolio and income diversification.