Seen as a boost to the nation’s agricultural sector, a Nigerian firm, LoftyInc Allied Partners Limited, has been awarded N592 million in grant by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).
In a statement, executive partner of the firm, Michael Oluwagbemi, said the fund, which is aimed at inaugurating “Project Sparrow”, an initiative developed to reduce the risk of local and global investments in selected agribusiness and agritech companies in Nigeria, was a co-investment grant by the USAID-funded West Africa Trade and Investment Hub (Trade Hub).
“Through assistance provided to these companies, Project Sparrow will achieve its overall goal of supporting the improvement of Nigerian smallholder farmers’ productivity and livelihoods in the U.S. Government’s ‘Feed the Future States’ and select value chains,” he said.
“Project Sparrow is expected to positively impact more than 50 direct beneﬁciaries and a total of 25,000 smallholder farmers while creating 4,000 jobs.”
Oluwagbemi said the project would enhance inclusive growth and access to ﬁnance. He said LoftyInc had hosted a kick-off inauguration for the project in Abuja, recording participation from stakeholders and leaders of agribusinesses in Nigeria and staff representing financial institutions and other businesses that will support Project Sparrow.
He assured that the organisation, whose mission is to enhance lives by creatively investing in ideas and entrepreneurs, will continue to support start-up teams, innovation enterprises and social impact projects in Africa.
“Access to funding has always posed a major challenge to innovative agric-focused start-ups and MSMEs in the country. The need to provide a solution to this challenge led to LoftyInc’s foray into innovation acceleration, angel investment, and venture capital, as well as microﬁnancing that provides various kinds of funding to novel business solutions covering various sectors of the economy,” Oluwagbemi said.