Proparco Grants €490,000 to Boost East African Agriculture with Maris Africa

Proparco’s €490,000 technical assistance to Agris Africa and Maris aims at sustainable growth and gender equality in East Africa.

Proparco, via FISEA+, is allocating a technical support (TA) envelope of €490,000 to Agris Africa Limited as well as to other Maris agricultural companies located in Kenya and South Sudan. The objective of this TA facility is to support internal transformation projects intended to ensure the sustainable growth of the company’s businesses in East Africa. This financing is part of the French Choose Africa initiative, implemented by the AFD Group.

After an investment by FISEA of US$ 12 million in 2022 in the Maris Africa fund, the relationship with this client is growing: Proparco will also support the company’s Forestry and Agriculture businesses, by supporting via a grant, projects intended to strengthen their positive impact. 

Maris brings together food production, crop and agricultural services companies – whose ambition is to accelerate the integration of East African agricultural stakeholders into global food systems and strengthen the continent’s food security. The company owns Evergreen Foods , the second largest producer of herbs, fruits, vegetables and mushrooms in East Africa and Equatoria Teak Company (ETC), a company specializing in the production and marketing of teak , an exotic wood well known for its qualities in terms of durability. 

The projects that will be implemented via the AT facility will, among other things, strengthen the actions of these two companies aimed at surrounding communities with a view to economic inclusion. This will also make it possible to consolidate their strategy in terms of gender equality, to expand local distribution channels or to be able to produce items with higher added value in very vulnerable regions, such as the South. Sudan. 

Overall, these actions will contribute to the creation of direct and indirect jobs , the training of nearly 1,000 farmers and better inclusion of women in local agricultural value chains . In terms of gender equality, 38% of Maris companies could meet at least one of the “2X Challenge” criteria. The “2X Challenge” initiative, founded by the development finance institutions of the G7 countries, aims to mobilize $15 billion for investments in favor of women.

Encouraging the agri-food sector in Africa to develop, to strengthen its positioning in value chains while adopting practices in line with our objectives of he impacts, such as taking into account gender issues or better management of natural resources, correspond well to our support objectives as a development bank. And we are happy to be able to support Maris on these strategic and exciting issues.

Manal Tabet, Deputy of the Technical Assistance and Resource Mixing Division, Proparco

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