Cashew processing at Valency Agro Nigeria Ltd has received a boost in capacity with USD$3.5m funding from social impact investor and worldwide cooperative, Oikocredit, to support the cashew nuts processing and exportation and generally improve sustainable corporate governance.
The funding by Oikocredit to Valency Agro Nigeria Limited will help the company to expand its processing of raw cashew nuts into high-quality cashew kernels for export and to better manage sustainability-related matters in the company’s operations and value chain with respect to social and environmental concerns. According to Mr Sumit Jain, CEO, Valency Group, the fund will support value addition, sustain over 1000 jobs comprised of mostly women; create more permanent and seasonal jobs, improve the livelihood of smallholder farmers and their families; and support girl child education.
He said, “In view of the expansion of production and processing of cashew nuts into high-quality cashew kernels for export, the funding focus on long-term sustainable value creation that aims to align Valency’s interest alongside stakeholders’ and the society especially our host communities. It will be recalled that our expansion program in agro products such as sesame, cocoa, ginger, soya bean and black eye bean for export which birthed five peeling centres fully equipped with the state-of-art modern processing machineries in Ibafo and Abule-Oshun area of Ogun State resulted in the employment of 400 female employees in addition to the existing 600 in our workforce and also empower them with the skills to perform. At a time as this where many households have lost their livelihood due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the economy, we have remained resolute in our commitment to continue to enhance the enterprise value for shareholders and stakeholders alike which implies sustaining the well-being of our people- our employees.”
In the same vein, Ufuoma Eghwerehe, Oikocredit’s Country Manager for Nigeria, said: ‘’We are excited about our new partnership with Valency Agro, Oikocredit’s first agriculture partner in Nigeria. Our loan will boost their cashew processing capacity and value addition, generate employment, especially for disadvantaged women, improve the livelihoods of smallholder farmers and their families in this Covid-19 era, and make a positive social impact in the communities we serve. With investments like these, Oikocredit can help African countries move beyond relying on exporting raw products and increase their trade-in higher-value finished agricultural goods.”
Valency Agro Nigeria Ltd, a subsidiary of Valency International. Its principal activities include agro-products processing. The company purchases agriculture commodities through its wide range of branches and has deep origination and product knowledge through its reach close to the farm gate. With nine procurement and distribution centres across Nigeria and owning the largest and fully integrated cashew processing facility in Nigeria running at 35 metric tonnes RCN per day, the company have a strategic advantage to expand to 100 metric tonnes RCN per day in the next two years.
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Oikocredit is a social impact investor and worldwide cooperative with over 45 years of experience funding organizations active in financial inclusion, agriculture and renewable energy. Oikocredit's loans, equity investments and capacity building aim to enable people on low incomes in Africa, Asia and Latin America to improve their living standards sustainably. Oikocredit finances over 529 partners, with total outstanding capital of EUR835.5m (€835.5m as of June 2021).
Source: Legit Newspaper