Since 2013, USAID’s Southern Africa Trade Hub has been promoting a strategy to support investments into regional agricultural warehousing through an Agricultural Storage Investment Facility (ASIF) with initial focus in Malawi and subsequently Zambia. ASIF is designed to provide broad-based access to storage, finance, and markets that will directly benefit smallholder farmers in these Feed-the-Future countries.
Currently five types of storage construction credit lines are being constructed to generate an estimated US$120 million in storage investment finance at low rates. During the week of June 22, 2015 the first term sheet was released after extensive collaboration between the Trade Hub, investors, and Malawian stakeholders.
The ASIF strategy has benefited from strong local support in Malawi from agribusinesses and banks, and internationally with support from the Development Finance community and across USAID. The initial pipeline that the Trade Hub helped consolidate comprises leading Malawian agribusiness with an estimated investment requirement of over US$25 million, representing over 200,000 metric tons of new capacity, much of it in rural areas.
The collaboration has resulted in the creation of a new hybrid financing instrument that blends commercial consideration and financier risk management while balancing borrower risk and maximizing development impact.
Photo: The Trade Hub’s Agricultural Storage Investment Facility will open over 200,000 metric tons in new storage capacity