Luxembourg and Nairobi, 16 June 2021 – The eco.business Fund, in partnership with Export Trading Group (ETG), one of the largest integrated agricultural supply chain managers and processors in sub-Saharan Africa, has launched a pilot project in Kenya for data-driven agricultural intensification. This project aims to improve farmer productivity and profitability whilst enhancing the environmental risk management and climate resilience of Kenya’s maize, coffee, and tea crops through improved soil and crop nutrition management.
A consortium led by FutureWater will collaborate with ETG agronomists and the Empowering Farmers Foundation (EFF) to work together with 60 selected maize, coffee, and tea farmers from around the country to implement Climate Smart Agricultural practices, such as crop rotation to rejuvenate soil nutrients, or mulching to reduce weeds and water erosion.
By using drones to monitor the application of these sustainable crop interventions from the selected farms, the project team will also be able to use the data to assess crop productivity improvements, create crop calendars to increase harvest yields, and understand land use changes to protect encroachment into biodiverse areas. Soil samples will also be collected and analyzed to identify soil nutrition deficiencies and design appropriate soil enhancement measures that will be implemented on demo farms.
The success of this pilot project will provide learnings on how it can be scaled up to reach more farmers and assess its replicability across different geographic locations.
Ms. Lisa Stahl, Chairperson of the eco.business Development Facility for sub-Saharan Africa, stated: “We welcome the launch of this project with ETG. Not only will it contribute to enhancing the sustainability of ETG’s sourcing operations, but the project will also serve as a model for leveraging modern technology and data analytics for sustainable agricultural intensification.”
About the eco.business Fund
The eco.business Fund aims to promote business and consumption practices that contribute to biodiversity conservation, to the sustainable use of natural resources, and to mitigate climate change and adapt to its impacts. By providing financing for business practices that conserve nature and foster biodiversity, the fund seeks investments with both environmental and financial returns. The fund mainly provides loans to qualified financial institutions that on-lend the money to eligible borrowers, which include holders of recognized certifications or those making improvements in line with conservation and biodiversity goals. The fund supports sustainable operations in the sectors of agriculture, fishery (including aquaculture), forestry and tourism.
The eco.business Fund was initiated by Germany’s KfW Development Bank and Conservation International with financial support from the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). It has received further donor support from the European Commission. The fund’s additional investor base comprises the U.K. government’s Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, Dutch development bank FMO, Austrian development bank OeEB, and institutional investors such as sustainable banking institution ASN Bank, German ethical bank GLS Bank, Calvert Impact Capital, and Raiffeisen Bank International. Finance in Motion, a leading impact investing company, is also an investor.
Operating hand-in-hand with the eco.business Fund, the eco.business Development Facility provides high-impact technical assistance to financial institutions and final borrowers.
About Export Trading Group (ETG)
Export Trading Group (ETG) is one of the largest and fastest growing integrated agricultural supply chain managers and processors in Sub-Saharan Africa, with operations across 48 countries globally. ETG has developed a diverse portfolio of expertise across multiple industries, encompassing agricultural inputs, logistics, merchandising and processing, supply chain optimization, digital transformation and energy.
For more information, please visit www.etgworld.com
About Empowering Farmers Foundation (EFF)
Since 2013, EFF has been working with smallholder farming communities in Eastern and Southern Africa and has actively engaged with thousands of farmers in cereals, oil seeds, legumes and other value chains. The Foundation aims to stimulate growth in the agricultural sector and foster the development of rural economies by supporting smallholder farmers to move from subsistence farming to farming for business. Through its extension model it works closely with farmers to provide good agronomic practices and business training, while facilitating access to inputs, financial services and guaranteed markets. EFF collaborates closely with local government authorities, semi-autonomous agencies, and rural extension staff, who are critical for the implementation of project activities. About 40% of the target group that EFF reaches are women farmers and agri-preneurs.
For more information, visit www.eff.dev
FutureWater is a research and consulting organization that works throughout the world to combine scientific research with practical solutions for water management. FutureWater’s key expertise is in the field of quantitative methods, based on simulation models, geographic information systems and drone and satellite observations. Together with ThirdEye Kenya, Holland Greentech and HiView, FutureWater as project lead has created a consortium to implement the pilot project under the name of ‘HiFarm’.
For more information, visit https://www.futurewater.eu/.
Media contact eco.business Fund
Name: Merle Römer
Title: Manager, Marketing & Communications
Phone: +49 (0)69 / 271 035-171
Media contact Export Trading Group (ETG)
Name: Anish Jain
Title: Chief Treasury Officer
Media contact Empowering Farmers Foundation (EFF)
Name: Kamini Menon
Title: Head of Communications
Phone: +254 11 505 0801
Media contact Future Water
Name: Martijn de Klerk
Title: General Manager
Phone: +31 317 460 050