FMO and CDC Group have partnered with AgFunder to launch a dedicated African agrifoodtech news and research platform. AFN Africa will research and report on new startups, technologies and investments in the agriculture and food sectors across the African continent.
While the agricultural sector contributes upwards of 50% of GDP for most economically vulnerable countries, many countries in Africa remain heavily dependent on food imports, threatening economic development and resilience. A thriving food and agricultural sector is needed to effectively address socio-economic issues such as poverty, food insecurity and livelihood opportunities across sub-Saharan Africa in particular.
New technologies can play a major role in transforming the continent’s food and agriculture industries to better meet its population’s needs, but entrepreneurs often struggle to obtain sufficient access to capital and talent. On the other side, investors and other stakeholders don’t have the intelligence they need to support these endeavours.
With the new platform, FMO, CDC and AFN will promote agrifood technologies and build a more cohesive ecosystem of entrepreneurs, investors, technical assistance providers, government agencies and industry groups, with the goal of driving more awareness, investment and adoption of agrifoodtech across Africa.
AFN Africa will report on innovations across the food value chain. In particular, the platform will focus on solutions that foster climate resilience and technologies that enable new market opportunities for the underserved, such as smallholder farmers and women. These stories will be shared across AFN’s 90,000-strong global subscriber base.
The platform will also produce data-driven research reports, entrepreneurial ecosystem tools, funding guides, market maps and more.
FMO is supporting the platform through its Building Prospects Fund and the Ventures Program and its corresponding Technical Assistance Facility, which is funded by the European Commission and Dutch government. CDC, the UK development finance institution, is supporting the platform through CDC Plus, which is CDC’s technical assistance and support facility supported by the UK government’s Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office.
Marieke Roestenberg, FMO’s Ventures Program Manager, said: “We are excited to support AgFunder in launching this Africa focused platform as the increased coverage will help unearth more insights for the industry and increase investor interest. The availability of information will also strengthen our efforts in identifying and scaling innovative agri-tech solutions across the continent.”
Chirantan Patnaik, CDC’s Venture Capital Director, adeed: “Technology has the potential to transform the agriculture sector in Africa and improve food production, resilience and livelihoods across the continent. We’re pleased to support AgFunder’s platform dedicated to African agritech coverage, which we hope will drive information sharing, collaboration and investment across the sector.”
Louisa Burwood-Taylor, Head of Media & Research at AgFunder, said: “The time is right to add more African coverage to our news site. While still fragmented, the African agrifoodtech ecosystem is ripe for more investment as a growing number of entrepreneurs start to tackle the food and agriculture industry. There’s also an urgent need to transform this complex industry, particularly in the face of climate change, disruptions such as the Covid-19 pandemic, and continued food insecurity across the continent.”
AFN is a news site dedicated to publishing daily, original news about the burgeoning foodtech and agtech (“agrifoodtech”) startup and venture capital industry. Previously called AgFunderNews, AFN is a division within AgFunder Inc, the SIlicon Valley agirfoodtech venture capital firm.
For more information about AFN, please visit: www.agfundernews.com. For AFN Africa, please visit: agfundernews.com/africa
About CDC Group
CDC Group is the UK's impact investor with over 70 years of experience of successfully supporting the sustainable, long-term growth of businesses in South Asia and Africa. The company is a leading player in the fight against climate change and has committed more than $1bn of climate finance over the last four years. CDC is also a founding member of the 2X challenge which has raised $10bn to empower women's economic development. The company has investments in over 1000 businesses in emerging economies and total assets of $9.3bn. In 2020, CDC committed over of $1.5bn to businesses in Africa and Asia, and aims to invest up to $1.75bn in 2021 – with a focus on driving inclusive growth, job creation and supporting economic recovery from COVID-19. For more information visit cdcgroup.com
Corporate Communications Officer
Head of Media & Research