By Lindah Nduwumwami
New financing to the tune of 34 billing Uganda shillings has been made available to support agribusiness in Uganda as new funding partners; Soros Economic Development Fund, part of Open Society Foundations OSF and FCA Investments join the Yield Uganda Investment Fund.
This was revealed at the final launch’s agenda at Kampala Sheraton Hotel on Thursday evening to officially announce new investors; FCA Investments and OSF, announce agri-businesses that have newly been funded, and to highlight the prospective goals of the fund and what it means to a agriculture sector.
The Yield Uganda Investment Fund is a partnership between public and private investors that offers innovative and tailored financial solutions, using equity, semi- equity and debt, to Small and Medium sized Enterprises having the potential to generate both strong financial returns and significant social impact.
Deloitte Uganda and Pearl Capital Partners Uganda established the fund currently managed by PCP Uganda with the mandate to make investment s in the range of 250,000Euros to 2 million Euros.
The Fund targets agriculture- related businesses across all value chains including supply of agricultural inputs, production and agro- processing within all sub-sectors, post –harvest storage and distribution, but also peripheral activities such as transportation, communications and certification. The Fund seeks to support businesses with a clear competitive advantage and ambitious local management.
Over 100,000 households are set to benefit from the fund through improving access to markets for their produce, higher quality agricultural inputs and services, creating jobs and employment opportunities, ensuring food security while generating income, foreign exchange and new export opportunities, all fundamentally contributing to Uganda’s economic growth and goal to eradicate poverty.
According to Jocelyn Songco, Principal- Soros Economic Development Fund, Open Society Foundations, they invested in the Yield Fund because they want to direct capital to local agribusinesses and entrepreneurs that are interested in sharing benefits with smallholder farmers, rather than exploiting them.