AFT and USAID visit to Fenacovici

Post-award grantee support: Field visit to Fenacovici

Date: Tuesday, November 17, 2015

AFT and USAID staff visit Côte d'Ivoire project

A delegation of USAID staff and members of the AFT (Agriculture Fast Track) Fund coordinating unit made a joint field visit to Fédération Nationale des Coopératives de Vivriers de Côte d'Ivoire (Fenacovici) in Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire on Friday, 13 November 2015. USAID was represented by the Agriculture Finance and Investment Lead, Elizabeth Diebold and Agricultural Finance Specialist, Harsha Kodali, both from USAID’s Bureau for Food Security in Washington DC, and Rebecca Levy, Economic Growth Officer, USAID, Côte d'Ivoire. The AFT Coordinator, Jonas Chianu, led the AFT team that comprised of Procurement Expert, Mamadou Sevede, M&E Lead, Ifeanyi Ojiako, Operations Expert, Modou Njie, Communications Expert, Grace Omondi and Operations Assistant, Cecile Kone.

Fenacovici is a national growers’ federation of 11 cooperatives with about 36,000 members in the agribusiness sector. They were awarded an AFT grant of US$ 551,990 in 2014.

The purpose of the visit was for USAID to gain insight into Fenacovici’s operations and understand first-hand the ways in which the federation is making forward steps due to the grant they received. The grant was awarded to finance the costs of environmental and social impact assessments, a technical feasibility study, and for the development of a business plan for planned agribusiness development activities by Fenacovici.

Having concluded the grant's execution period, Fenacovici is presently in talks with various financial institutions and other investors and hope to have the main proposed production facility constructed within two years. The production facility is expected to complement the proposed Fenacovici Wholesale Food Market.

“We are glad to have been one of the pilot grant recipients of the AFT Fund in the private sector. We are directly and indirectly supporting at least 45% of women in rural areas in and beyond Côte d'Ivoire, and affording better livelihoods for smallholder farmers," said Fenacovici President Irie Collete.

“Combatting food insecurity is no longer a domain of only the public sector. USAID is keen on advancing, with your help, the vision to have deeper private sector involvement in this cause,” said Elizabeth.

“As AFT looks to expand project activities to four additional countries, we have the opportunity to apply some of the lessons learnt from the Fenacovici model” concluded the AFT coordinator, Jonas Chianu.

Photo: From L to R: Clotaire Allegra (General Manager, Fenacovici), Rebecca Levy, Irie Collete, Elizabeth Diebold, Harsha Kodali and Jonas Chianu at Fenacovici office in Abidjan.