Wienco (Ghana) Limited partners with AATIF to mobilise US$20 million for smallholder development
Wienco (Ghana) Ltd ("WGL"), part of the RMG Concept Ltd group and a key player in the agribusiness sector in Ghana, announced a major partnership with the Africa Agriculture and Trade Investment Fund (“AATIF”) to support the development of the smallholder agriculture sector in Ghana. Under the terms of the partnership, AATIF provides a trade finance facility of USD20 million for use in procuring inputs to smallholder farmers in the cocoa, maize and cotton sectors and in purchasing their crop production.
WGL has been actively involved in supporting the development of the smallholder farming sector in Ghana for five years and currently provides fertilizer and agro-chemicals on credit, training in input application methods, as well as key aspects of business training to 50,000 smallholder farmers via three smallholder farmers’ associations. These include the Cocoa Abrabopa scheme, the Masara N’Arziki maize smallholders association and WGL’s own smallholder cotton growing scheme. AATIF’s financial commitment will allow WGL to significantly expand the scope of its smallholder operations to reach a total of over 110,000 farmers within five years, substantially increasing their productivity, improving farmers’ livelihoods and contributing to regional food security in the meantime.
WGL’s initiative with AATIF also offers the prospect of expanding its smallholder operations into the rest of the region. It is currently developing initiatives to work with smallholder farmers in the rice, cocoa and maize sectors in Côte d’Ivoire, Liberia and Burkina Faso using the smallholder models successfully developed in Ghana.
According to Mr. Daniel Ruegg, WGL director and CEO of RMG Concept Ltd: "This is a highly significant moment in the company’s development. Having largely financed the smallholder initiatives from our own resources so far, we are delighted that we have been joined for the first time by a financier of AATIF’s standing, which has shown confidence in our vision for the future of smallholder farming in Africa."
Thomas Duve, Chairman of the AATIF Board of Directors, said: "The partnership with Wienco for the benefit of agricultural smallholder associations largely lacking access to funding is the first of its kind for AATIF. It fully matches AATIF’s objective to uplift Africa’s agricultural potential for the benefit of the poor. We are excited to embark with Wienco towards further improving the agricultural potential of participating smallholder farmers and to advancing income and ultimately livelihood conditions."
The transaction was arranged and facilitated by Enko Capital, which manages the participation of LiquidAfrica Holdings Limited in RMG Concept Ltd. According to Cyrille Nkontchou, Managing Partner of Enko Capital, this is a landmark transaction that will enable WGL to scale up its support to smallholder schemes by supplying more inputs and buying more crops from smallholders at the end of the season, but also by increasing its storage and processing capacity. He added that AATIF’s participation was particularly welcome as it will do much to overcome the general scepticism among banks and development agencies about the commercial viability of smallholder agricultural schemes in Africa.
About RMG Concept Ltd.
RMG Concept Ltd is involved in crop protection in West & Central Africa and is the parent company of Wienco (Ghana) Ltd. RMG develops, formulates and distributes the full range of agro-chemical products in Côte d'Ivoire and fifteen other countries in the region including Benin, Burkina Faso, Central African Republic, Chad, Gambia, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Equatorial Guinea, Liberia, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Sierra Leone, Togo and Senegal. The company distributes a range of crop protection products including herbicides, insecticides and fungicides covering all crop needs.
About Wienco (Ghana) Ltd (www.wienco.com)
Wienco (Ghana) Ltd was established in 1979 as a Ghana-Dutch joint venture company involved in businesses in the agricultural sector and is today one of Ghana’s leading agribusinesses. WGL currently specializes in the support of smallholder farmers and agricultural commodity trading. WGL imports and distributes seed and crop protection agro-chemicals including insecticides, pesticides and fungicides, primarily for the cocoa, maize, rice and cotton sectors in Ghana. The involvement of WGL in supporting the smallholders associations in the cocoa, maize and cotton sectors consists in the supply of an integrated package of input on credit.
About Enko Capital (www.enkocapital.com)
Enko Capital is an Africa-focused asset management firm that manages assets invested in public as well as private equity markets in Africa via the Enko Opportunity Growth Fund and the Enko Africa Private Equity Fund. Enko Capital also manages LiquidAfrica Holdings Limited’s private equity investments including in RMG Concept Ltd.