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CFC strengthens ties with EU at PROBA

We recently highlighted the impact of our work and presented our Agricultural Commodity Transformation (ACT) Fund, at the European Union (EU) council Working Party on Commodities (PROBA) in Brussels.  

The EU is one of our long-standing institutional members and is a crucial contributor to our mission to alleviate poverty among smallholder farmers.  

PROBA plays an important role in the discussion of commodity policies, focusing on sustainability, commodity dependence, supply security, and commodity-related aspects of trade and development. It also coordinates EU involvement in the International Commodity Bodies (ICBs), specifically regarding coffee, cocoa, olive oil, sugar, grains, tropical timber, rubber, copper, nickel, lead and zinc.  

The meeting was a great opportunity to share our recent progress with the EU. This included a presentation of ACT Fund by CFC Managing Director Amb. Mohammed Belal, Chief of Strategy and Development Andrey Kuleshov, and Chief Operations Officer Nicolaus Cromme.   

ACT will enable private sector institutions to invest in viable SMEs that have the potential to bridge the gap between smallholders and high-value markets in some of the poorest regions of the world. It is part of our mission to transform the agricultural sector in least developed countries (LDCs), landlocked developed countries (LLDCs) and small island developing states (SIDS) by strengthening their food, climate, and income resilience.    

To showcase the impact of CFC investments, Nicolaus Cromme also presented three case studies:  

  • Ten Senses Africa (TSA) is the world’s first fair-trade certified macadamia nut trading company which sources from 5,000 Kenyan smallholder farmers. Our USD 1.5 million trade finance facility has enabled TSA to increase its smallholder farmer suppliers to 10,000.  
  • Shalem, a female-led social enterprise in Kenya, has transitioned from a grain aggregator to an added-value manufacturer, empowering it to deepen its support for farmers. Our financial support has helped Shalem build and equip a modern grain processing factory, enabling the company to expand market access and grow its smallholder network.  
  • Coumba Nor Thiam (CNT), a rice processing business in Senegal, is using our USD 1.5 million loan to boost smallholders’ yields and incomes, supporting the country’s vision of rice self-sufficiency.   

Participating at PROBA has reinforced the value of collaboration at all levels, in unlocking the potential of agriculture and helping smallholders thrive. We look forward to continuing to build these crucial partnerships. 

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