AATIF and the IFC announced a EUR 13m investment to help SAF Ingrédients build an onion dehydration plant in Senegal.


On 13th October 2020, AATIF and the IFC – a member of the World Bank Group – announced an investment to help Société Africaine d’Ingrédients (SAF Ingrédients) build an onion dehydration plant in Senegal—the first in sub Saharan Africa—that will create hundreds of jobs and boost the country’s agriculture exports.

The unique project involves decommissioning an existing onion dehydration plant (built in 2003 and closed in 2014) near Dijon, France, and relocating it to St. Louis in northern Senegal. Support from AATIF and IFC will also help SAF Ingrédients develop a 760-hectare onion farm and establish a large out-grower network of onion farmers.

The plant is expected to produce almost 5,000 tons of dehydrated onions annually, representing two percent of the global supply, with some production being exported to Europe. Dry onion powder is an important and popular flavouring in soups, stews, and many other dishes.

The EUR 13m investment is composed of AATIF’s EUR 6m senior loan, IFC’s “A” loan of up to EUR 3.5m from IFC’s own account, and a concessional loan from the IDA Private Sector Window Blended Finance Facility of up to EUR 3.5m. The IDA Private Sector Window was launched to catalyse private sector investment in places where it is needed most.

“Support from IFC and AATIF will allow us to build only the second onion dehydration plant in Africa while creating jobs and sustaining the livelihood of thousands of farmers. It will also allow us to grow our business in West Africa and link Senegal to the global food industry.”

Magatte Wade & Emmanuel Vallantin Dulac, CEO and Managing Director of SAF Ingrédients respectively.

Over the last 10 years, Senegal’s onion production has increased significantly to reach approximately 400,000 tons per year. The new plant will process a type of onion which is better suited for dehydration and delivers higher yields.

“This investment illustrates IFC’s support to improve access to finance for SMEs in agriculture, which is essential to create jobs in Senegal. It is also timely, as it will help spur agricultural productivity and contribute to Senegal’s economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic”

Aliou Maiga, IFC’s Director for West and Central Africa.

“This investment represents AATIF’s first corporate investment in Francophone West Africa, one whose potential impact in the local economy excites us. With 100% of the supply being sourced locally, largely from smallholder and commercial farmers, alongside the creation of numerous jobs, this project is an opportunity for significant impact on local value addition, one we are proud to be affiliated with.”

Dr Thomas Duve, Chairman of the Board of Directors of AATIF

About IFC

IFC—a member of the World Bank Group—is the largest global development institution focused on the private sector in emerging markets. We work in more than 100 countries, using our capital, expertise, and influence to create markets and opportunities in developing countries. In fiscal year 2020, we invested $22 billion in private companies and financial institutions in developing countries, leveraging the power of the private sector to end extreme poverty and boost shared prosperity. For more information, visit www.ifc.org.

The Africa Agriculture and Trade Investment Fund (AATIF)

AATIF is a public private partnership mainly funded by the German Cooperation and the European Commission, dedicated to promoting the food / agricultural sector across Africa by providing patient capital and technical assistance. The fund provides debt financing to small, medium and large-scale agribusinesses along the entire agriculture value chain as well as financial institutions active in the sector. Ticket sizes range from USD 3.5m up to USD 30m per project with a possible maximum tenor of 12 years.