By The Citizen Reporter
Dar es Salaam — A five-year multicountry project for Tanzania, Kenya and Uganda is investing 2 million Euros (about Sh4.96 billion) in grants to 14 Agri businesses in the three countries.
The investment from the Climate Resilient Agribusiness for Tomor-row (Craft) project is specifically targeting companies and farmers working in the sunflower, soybean, sesame, common beans, potato and sorghum value chains in the three countries.
The Craft project manager for Tanzania, Mr Menno Keizer, said in a statement yesterday that the co-investment with the private sector was one of the key strategies identified by the project to achieve sustainable results and increase avail-ability and accessibility of climate-resilient food.
Through its climate innovation and investment facility (CIIF), the project will support performance-based investments so as to build the resilience of private sector agribusinesses and service providers in the targeted value chains.
So far, four Tanzanian companies namely, Nondo Investors Company Limited, Rogimwa Agro Company Limited, Jackma Enterprises Ltd and Mwenge Sunflower Oil Mills have signed partnership agreements worth 567,135 Euro (about Sh1.41 billion).
Craft invests in companies that have demonstrated from their own internally generated funds as well as from third party providers (i.e. fin-anciers and beneficiaries) that their businesses are viable.
The project will thus work with and through the private sector to promote climate smart agriculture related innovations at farm and val-ue chain level and support public sector partners in creating the insti-tutional environment for wide-scale adoption of CSA-practices.
The CIIF contribution is not an end in itself but rather a means for attracting commercial funding for follow-on investments and scaling. The agri-businesses invest their own funds and then leverage off the CRAFT grant to attract additional investment from commercial financial institutions.
This not only boosts their credit worthiness and relationship with the financial institutions but ensures businesses continuity beyond the life of the project.
The Craft investment facility will be able to reduce the financial risks of new business initiatives includ-ing those of small-medium scale (women and youth led) agri businesses and of cooperatives, thereby contributing to an increase in the level of investment and private sec-tor engagement in the climate resilient food systems in East Africa.
The Climate Resilient Agribusi-ness for Tomorrow (Craft) project is a multi-country (Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda) five-year effort implemented by SNV in partnership with Wageningen University and Research (WUR), CGIAR’s Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS), Agriterra, and Rabo Partnerships. The project is funded by the Neth-erlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs.