EDFI AgriFI, the EU funded Agriculture Financing Initiative, is proud to announce its investment of USD 3 million (EUR 2.71 million) in Good Nature Agro Products Ltd (GNA), a Zambian social enterprise dedicated to empowering smallholders and fostering sustainable agriculture. This investment is part of the ACP regional window, supported by the Secretariat of the Organisation of African, Caribbean and Pacific States (OACPS).
Strengthening the livelihoods of smallholders in Zambia
Good Nature Agro (GNA) is renowned for its commitment to uplifting smallholder farmers and combatting poverty in Zambia. By collaborating with approximately 30,000 smallholders, GNA facilitates the production of seeds (to be replanted) and commodities (to be eaten or processed) for four different types of legumes – groundnut, cowpea, soybean, and beans, all of which are open-pollinated varieties. This emphasis on legume cultivation brings about long-term positive changes in soil fertility and provides increased access to nutritious food for local communities.
“The investment from EDFI AgriFi comes at a critical juncture in our – and Zambia’s – growth journey,” remarked Carl Jensen, CEO of Good Nature Agro. “With the financial support and expertise provided, we will build a new processing factory in Lusaka that will stabilize supply domestically and open exciting new export markets for Zambian farmers. Crops that are often viewed as ‘subsistence crops’ such as beans and groundnuts can in fact be the catalyst for a diversified and export-driven agricultural sector that delivers immense value for our farmers. AgriFi’s investment is the key step in realizing this change.”
Indeed, the funding from EDFI AgriFI will enable GNA to establish a state-of-the-art factory dedicated to legume commodities in Lusaka, while also enhancing its production and research and development capacity for seeds at its historical headquarters in Chipata, Eastern Zambia. This strategic expansion will significantly contribute to the creation of job opportunities and further strengthen the local value chain.
H.E. Jacek Jankowski, Ambassador of the European Union to Zambia and COMESA expressed his support for this impactful initiative. “We commend the collaborative efforts of EDFI AgriFI and Good Nature Agro in promoting sustainable agriculture and social inclusivity in Zambia. This investment aligns with our Global Gateway commitment and support to fostering sustainable development in the region and strengthening the livelihoods of smallholder farmers in Zambia.”
Speaking about the investment, Guillaume Simões, Senior Investment Officer at EDFI AgriFI, expressed enthusiasm for supporting such a transformative project. “GNA has developed a unique expertise in developing seed varieties adapted to the local terroirs and to the specificities of smallholders. Its focus on legumes creates long term positive changes as farmers benefit from a guaranteed market access and increased incomes from higher value crops. Legumes also increase fertility of the soil and hence enable to increase productivity of other crops”.
Hence, the project’s impact stretches beyond economic aspects, encompassing ecological and nutritional benefits. Legume cultivation is known to enhance soil fertility by fixing nitrogen and improving crop rotation. Additionally, the increased production of legumes will play a crucial role in enhancing food security, as they are rich in protein, nutrients, and vitamins.
Expert on Value Chains at OACPS Secretariat Yvonne Chileshe, highlighted the significance of this endeavour and said “We are pleased to witness this strategic investment in Good Nature Agro Products Ltd. The OACPS Secretariat is committed to supporting impactful projects in the African, Caribbean, and Pacific regions, and this collaboration exemplifies our mission to drive sustainable development and prosperity.