DEG & STANCHART launch Euro100 million AgroAfrica partnership

Wednesday, 6 May 2009

DEG FORMS PIONEERING PARTNERSHIP TO LAUNCH EUR100 MILLION 'AGROAFRICA' INITIATIVE.

  • Loan programme will provide broad-based financial support to African agriculture.
  • Initiative delivered through Standard Chartered, DEG's first strategic financing partnership with a Commercial Bank.
  • First beneficiary project provides structured guarantee for up to ZAR 200 million (EUR 17 million), financing over 300 South African farmers.

Agriculture contributes over 30% of Africa's GDP. Considering the growth potential, Africa stands to hugely benefit by increasing the efficiency of resourcing and improving cultivation methods. As a result, the German development finance institution DEG - Deutsche Investitions- und Entwicklungsgesellschaft mbH, has launched their 'AgroAfrica' loan programme, which aims at delivering EUR 100 million of financial support to agriculture in sub-Saharan Africa over the next 3 years.

To deliver the programme, DEG has for the first time chosen to form a strategic partnership with a commercial bank. Standard Chartered Bank has been selected in this role, being one of the leading banks for structured agricultural financing in Africa. With DEG acting as guarantor, Standard Chartered will extend its reach within the agricultural sector across African markets, providing valuable financial support through structured agricultural and input financing products.

The first project to benefit from the DEG's AgroAfrica initiative is Standard Chartered's existing input financing programme with 'Farmsecure Capital' in South Africa. The programme, currently to the total value of ZAR 1 billion, will be guaranteed by DEG for ZAR 200 million (approximately EUR 17 million). DEG's additional support will increase the current number of commercial farmers benefiting from 200 to over 300, with the cultivation area expanding from 140,000 hectares to over 300,000 hectares over the next 3 years. With a total output expected to be around 1.1 million tonnes of wheat, soya beans and maize, this project will make a significant contribution to meeting South Africa's consumption demand as well as increasing export potential.

"The AgroAfrica initiative aims to support sustainable and economic growth via the agricultural sector. Developing the African agricultural sector not only benefits Africa's population through the provision of valuable staple foods, but will also increase export potential by increasing yields with the introduction of improved efficiencies and encouraging the adoption of effective commercial farming practices. We are pleased to be partnering with Standard Chartered Bank, considering their African expertise", commented Michael Fischer, Director of the DEG Office in Johannesburg.

On signing the Cooperation Agreement, Standard Chartered's Director of Agriculture, Zhann Meyer, said, "Standard Chartered is proud to partner DEG in this innovative and far-reaching initiative. This partnership allows us to extend the positive benefits our agricultural products deliver to the agricultural sector across sub-Saharan Africa. With our experience on the continent spanning over 150 years, and our strong on-the ground presence in 13 African markets, we continue to deliver sustainable and tangible benefits to Africa's agricultural sector."

Farmsecure Holdings (Pty) Ltd, the first project to benefit in the AgroAfrica programme, is responsible for the selection of participating farmers and providing ongoing support and expertise in the way of soil and inputs management, as well as transferring valuable precision farming methods to maximise farmers' productivity, efficiencies and outputs. "Our primary focus is to empower farmers with precision farming skills, agricultural knowledge and hands- on support to assist them in fulfilling their maximum potential. With our specialised agricultural expertise, and DEG's and Standard Chartered's financial support, we look forward to extending our unique approach for the benefit of other commercial African farmers north of our borders," commented Schalk Lubbe, Group Managing Director, Farmsecure.

In addition to supporting structured input financing products, the AgroAfrica initiative plans to extend its support to include agricultural equipment and processing plants, benefiting the agribusiness in Sub-Saharan Africa.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION PLEASE CONTACT:

DEG:

  • Anja Strautz, Corporate Strategy & Communications
  • Cologne, GERMANY
  • Tel: +49 221 4986 1474
  • Email: stz@deginvest.de

Standard Chartered Bank:

  • Lauren Callie - Head of Corporate Affairs
  • Johannesburg, SOUTH AFRICA
  • Tel: +27 (0)11 217 6600 / Mobile +27 (0)82 894 5581
  • Email: Lauren.Callie@sc.com

Editor's notes:

About DEG

DEG - Our business is developing.

DEG, member of KfW Bankengruppe (KfW banking group), is one of the largest European development finance institutions. For more than 45 years, DEG has been financing and structuring the investments of private companies in developing and emerging market countries.

DEG invests in profitable projects that contribute to sustainable development in all sectors of the economy, from agribusiness to infrastructure and manufacturing to services. The financial sector is a further focus in order to facilitate reliable access to investment capital locally.

DEG's aim is to establish and expand private enterprise structures in developing and emerging countries, and thus create the basis for sustainable economic growth and a lasting improvement in the living conditions of the local population.

About Standard Chartered Bank

Standard Chartered PLC, listed on both London and Hong Kong stock exchanges, ranks among the top 25 companies in the FTSE-100 by market capitalisation. The London-headquartered Group has operated for over 150 years in some of the world's most dynamic markets, leading the way in Asia, Africa and the Middle East. Its income and profits have more than doubled over the last five years primarily as a result of organic growth and supplemented by acquisitions.

Standard Chartered aspires to be the best international bank for its customers across its markets. The Group derives more than 90 per cent of its operating income and profits from Asia, Africa and the Middle East, generated from its Wholesale and Consumer Banking businesses. The Group has over 1600 branches and outlets located in over 70 countries. The extraordinary growth of its markets and businesses creates exciting and challenging international career opportunities.

Leading by example to be the right partner for its stakeholders, the Group is committed to building a sustainable business over the long term and is trusted worldwide for upholding high standards of corporate governance, social responsibility, environmental protection and employee diversity. It employs more than 70,000 people, nearly half of whom are women. The Group's employees are of 125 nationalities, of which about 70 are represented in the senior management.

In South Africa, Standard Chartered is focused on its successful Wholesale Banking strategy, leveraging its international footprint and expertise for the benefit of South African corporates and multinationals. In addition to the Bank's lending and financial markets capabilities, the Johannesburg Branch boasts 'Regional Centres of Expertise' such as Agricultural Finance, Project & Export Finance, Private Equity, Transaction Banking as well as mergers and acquisitions advisory services via the Bank's stake in 'First Africa'.

For more information please visit www.sc.com.

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