Agricultural small and medium enterprises (agri-SMEs), as Africa’s largest employer and economic engine, are the key to fighting hunger. Yet three out of four agri-SMEs can’t access bank loans, and are too large for microfinance, creating an estimated $100 billion gap in unmet demand for financing. Bridging this gap is critical to feeding the future.
At the 2023 U.N. General Assembly, USAID and Norway announced the Financing for Agricultural Small-and-Medium Enterprises in Africa (FASA) Fund to spur investment in Africa’s agricultural growth. Working with Congress, USAID and Norway will each provide an initial commitment of $35 million. With these commitments, Norway and the U.S. aim to reach $200 million through additional donor contributions to catalyze hundreds of millions more in commercial financing by reducing investment risk. This fund has the potential to support 500 agri-SMEs and 1.5 million smallholder farmers, ultimately benefiting nearly 7.5 million people. The fund will also support nearly 60,000 private sector jobs.FASA- Fund