Oikocredit invests $3.5m in Valency Agro Nigeria to expand cashew processing, export
Valency Agro Nigeria Ltd has received $3.5m funding from social impact investor and worldwide cooperative, Oikocredit, to support its cashew nuts processing and exportation, according to a statement.
The statement said the funding will help Valency Agro Nigeria 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.
Sumit Jain, CEO, Valency Group said in the statement that the fund will support value addition, sustain over 1,000 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.
“In view of the expansion of production and processing of cashew nuts into high-quality cashew kernels for export, the funding focuses 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 machinery 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 empowered 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.” Sumit Jain, CEO, Valency Group said
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.’’