Food insecurity is a pressing issue in Africa, impacting millions. The 2022 Global Report on Food Crises revealed that one in five Africans face hunger, and 140 million grapple with acute food insecurity. Nigeria reported 17 million people facing critical food insecurity in 2022, with projections indicating 25 million going hungry between June and August 2023. As of January 2023, Uganda saw 16.4 million people with insufficient food, an increase of 1.2 million from late 2022. In Kenya, over 5.4 million experienced acute food insecurity between March and June 2023, with numbers expected to rise.
Despite Africa’s agricultural potential, unpredictable weather patterns, floods, and droughts disrupt food production. African nations are employing innovative agricultural practices, sustainable farming, and technology to tackle food insecurity. AFEX, an agri-tech commodities exchange, is playing a crucial role.
Operating over 200 warehouses in Nigeria, Kenya, and Uganda, AFEX serves more than 450,000 farmers. Since commencing operations in Nigeria in 2014, the company trades various crops and expanded into Uganda in January 2023, following its 2022 entry into Kenya. AFEX leverages its warehouse network to provide farmers with market-priced offtake agreements and same-day payments.
The recently secured funds will be used to construct 20 modern warehouses in strategic locations across Nigeria, Kenya, and Uganda. This investment will also scale up warehouse technology and advanced software for post-harvest pricing documentation. These innovations extend the shelf life of harvested crops, effectively increasing the amount of food available. AFEX anticipates that the additional storage capacity, totaling 230,000 metric tons, will enable 200,000 more farmers to enhance crop harvest sales and access affordable storage, potentially doubling their incomes.
Furthermore, AFEX plans to establish a soybean processing plant in Ibadan, Nigeria, and a drying facility in Uganda. These facilities are expected to generate over 700 temporary and 80 permanent jobs.
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- Business Aggrey" is a 23-year-old Ugandan journalist and Editor-in-Chief at The Black Examiner newspaper
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