34 billion Uganda shillings has been made available to support agribusiness in Uganda as new funding partners; Soros Economic Development Fund and FCA Investments join the Yield Uganda Investment Fund.
The Agribusiness impact fund, set up in January 2017 by the European Union, through the International Fund for Agricultural Development and the National Social Security Fund, with an initial €12 million investment, has now hit the €20 million (UGX 85 billion) mark in total commitments, following an €8million investment from the Open Society Foundations and FCA Investments.
The Yield Uganda Investment Fund is a partnership between public and private investors that offer innovative and tailored financial solutions, using equity, semi-equity and debt Enterprises that have the potential to generate both strong financial returns and significant social impact.
Deloitte Uganda and Pearl Capital Partners Uganda (PCP) established the Fund, currently managed by PCP Uganda with the mandate to make investments in the range of €250,000 to €2 million (approximately UGX 1 billion to UGX 8.5 billion).
“Mobilizing investments for the agro industrialization of Uganda has been the main reason for the creation of Yield Uganda Investment Fund by the EU,” said the EU Ambassador to Uganda, H.E Attilio Pacifici.
Ambassador Pacifici added that in 2017, NSSF joined the EU to launch the first Investment Fund and today FCA Investments and Open Society Foundations add substantial capital which will allow Ugandan agribusiness companies to access the needed long-term capital for industrialization.
“As outlined in the European External Investment Plan, the EU is aiming at attracting capital into Uganda to foster development in agriculture, trade and industrialization,” he revealed.
The Fund targets to improve over 100,000 rural households livelihoods through improving access to; markets for their produce, higher quality agricultural inputs and services; creating jobs and employment opportunities.
“IFAD is reassured by the confidence and delighted to welcome Open Society Foundations and FCA Investments to the Yield Fund as part of the 2nd close investors,” noted IFAD Country Director for Uganda, Laskhmi Moola.
The NSSF Deputy Managing Director Patrick Ayato said that Agriculture plays a vital role for economic growth and sustainable development.
“Investment in the sector is an effective instrument to alleviate poverty and enhance food security. Evidence suggests that gross domestic product (GDP) growth originating from agriculture is twice as effective in reducing poverty as GDP growth.”
He added that the investment is in line with NSSF’s diversification strategy to increase exposure to equities to about 25% of its total portfolio from the current 18% as well as supporting home-grown companies that have good corporate governance and are willing to provide NSSF an exit through the stock exchange.