Which businesses can qualify for a loan?

LAFCo’s primary purpose is to provide working capital financing for borrowers working in food crop value chains

LAFCo serves the day-to-day working capital needs of agricultural businesses and farmer cooperatives, particularly those operating in staple food crop value chains

Borrower Types

LAFCo lends to certain approved 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
  • Processors
  • Traders, distributors, exporters
  • Logistics providers (e.g., warehouses)
  • Other agricultural businesses

Value Chains

LAFCo’s primary purpose is to provide working capital financing for borrowers working in food crop value chains, specifically those involved in domestic and intra-Africa trade. LAFCo considers a wide range of food crop value chains, including but not limited to:

  • Cereals, pulses, nuts, and root crops
  • Fruit and vegetable horticultural crops, whether fresh or for processing
  • Oilseeds for edible oil or animal feed
  • Animal feed
  • Dairy
  • Poultry and other livestock

Smallholder Farmer Involvement

All qualifying SME borrowers must be delivering a clear benefit to smallholder farmers, either by sourcing crops or animals from farmers or by selling productivity-enhancing inputs to them. LAFCo defines smallholder farmers as those cultivating less than 10 hectares.

Borrower Size

LAFCo is intended primarily to serve SMEs meeting the IFC definition, namely, having at least two of the three following characteristics:

Gross assets of less than US$ 15 million; Annual turnover of less than US$ 15 million; or Fewer than 300 employees. However, LAFCo is permitted to lend to larger corporate entities provided the social and environmental considerations described online are met.

Borrower Compliance and Characteristics

LAFCo borrowers must also meet the following criteria at the time of application and throughout the term of any LAFCo facility for which they may be approved:
  • Have at least two years of operating activities.
  • Be able to submit at least two years of audited financial statements.
  • Be a legal entity which offers sufficient protection to its creditors.
  • Demonstrate the ability to responsibly service working capital loans (i.e., with standard credit assessment and underwriting criteria).
  • Comply with the national laws, local regulation and/or as the case may be with the rules and license requirements applicable to their industry.
  • Comply with LAFCo’s Exclusions List, which is based on International Finance Corporation’s (IFC) principles, that excludes production or trade in any product or activity deemed illegal under host country laws and regulations or international conventions and agreements.
  • Comply with applicable local environmental and social performance requirements, including labor and health and safety as to each industry. Comply with LAFCo’s anti-money laundering and anti-corruption policies.
LAFCO has a zero tolerance policy for bribery or corruption. To report any concerns, you may directly e-mail LAFCo’s Integrity Officer at the following address: contact@barakfund.com

LAFCo Target Countries

  • Benin
  • Burkina Faso
  • The Democratic Republic of Congo
  • Côte d’Ivoire
  • Ghana
  • Kenya
  • Liberia
  • Mali
  • Rwanda
  • Senegal
  • Tanzania
  • Togo
  • Uganda
  • Zambia

This list will continue to grow as LAFCo explores opportunities to extend financing in other countries in Sub Saharan Africa. Prospective countries include Burundi, Cameroon, Madagascar, Malawi and Sierra Leone.

An initiative by