Today, the United States launched a $19 million USD multi-country Agribusiness Investment for Market Stimulation (AIMS) Program funded by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) to be implemented by its partner Global Communities. The five-year program will promote growth of the agricultural sector in Kenya, Tanzania and Malawi by providing financing to small and medium-sized agribusinesses and training for businesses that work all along the agricultural value chain. Agribusiness is important to expanding the economies in all three targeted countries and this program is designed to help them overcome their key constraints of inadequate financing, lack of market information, and limited coordination among businesses that support the sector.
The AIMS program includes a $50 million Loan Guaranty Facility (LGF) that is backed by the United States’ Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC). This new facility will increase small and medium sized agribusiness greater access to finance. The program will provide tailored training to lenders to improve their ability to serve agricultural businesses, focused on risk management and products uniquely designed for the agricultural sector. In addition the program will support technical and management training for agribusiness entrepreneurs, as well as those managing agricultural cooperatives, agriculture storage facilities, and regional agriculture exchanges.
“This new program acknowledges the independence of the region’s agriculture for growth and food security and seeks to build stronger linkages between agribusinesses in all three of the targeted countries of Kenya, Tanzania and Malawi. Adding value to farm products and increasing regional trade in agriculture has the potential to transform the economy in these countries. This program will help small and medium sized businesses through access to finance, and increase their knowledge about the benefits and methods to trade across borders. The bottom line is that AIMS will help agribusinesses grow and the farmers throughout the region earn more.” — Kate Snipes, the Regional Agricultural Counselor for East African Community Member Countries and Malawi
Note on Global Communities
Global Communities is an international non-profit organization founded in 1952 that works closely with communities worldwide to bring about sustainable changes that improve the lives and livelihoods of the vulnerable: www.globalcommunities.org .
For further information, contact:
Kate Snipes – USDA Agricultural Counselor
U.S. Embassy – Nairobi, Kenya