Mar 24, 2017 Last Updated 10:30 AM, Mar 24, 2017

Village Capital announces innovation programme winners

ABN – Village Capital’s East African innovation programme FinTech for Agriculture has announced its first winners.

The programme supports companies making it easier for smallholder farmers to access more affordable financial services.

The DOEN Foundation, MasterCard Foundation and Duncan Goldie-Scot all support the programme.

More than 10 high-potential entrepreneurs were selected for the programme, which will support them through business development training, mentorship and opportunities to meet customers and investors.

Following the completion of the 12-week programme, Village Capital will select two companies to receive a US$50,000 investment.

Village Capital executive director Ross Baird said: “We are proud to have partnered with the DOEN Foundation, The MasterCard Foundation and Duncan Goldie-Scot to work with the best local entrepreneurs providing alternative financial services through their technology platforms.

“We are excited about the positive impact that our entrepreneurs can have on improving the income of smallholder farmers – the backbone of the African economy – and eager to see our enterprises’ growth through communities across the continent.”


FAO and Rabobank Foundation scale up collaboration

ABN – After two prosperous years of successful initiatives in East Africa, FAO and the Dutch Rabobank Foundation have announced plans to scale up their collaboration.

The partnership started in 2013 when the two companies collaborated on three projects in Tanzania, Ethiopia and Kenya.

All the projects focused on improving smallholder farmers’ incomes by providing them access to financial tools and improving their production efficiency.

The companies will now ramp up their pilot projects while also establishing similar collaborations in other countries in Latin America, Africa and Asia.

Rabobank Foundation MD Pierre van Hedel said: "We believe that working together with an organisation like FAO can accelerate the realisation of our mutual goals.

"We highly appreciate FAO's long-term commitment and vision with regard to the topic of food security, which is needed for smallholder development."

A FAO spokesperson said: "No one organisation can eradicate hunger and reduce poverty alone. Only in partnerships with a broad range of stakeholders can we achieve this."


Study reveals rise in soft drink consumption

ABN – A recent study has shown that African consumption of soft drinks is expected to rise significantly.

The research conducted by Canadean Ltd predicted that the volume of soft drinks consumed in Africa will rise by 29.54% by 2020.

By 2020 the Global Beverage Forecast Report estimated that Africa will consume 33,266 million litres of soft drinks a year.

Around 15,000 million litres of this will come from carbonates.

The rise in Africa’s population has been cited as one of the reason for this increase in soft drink consumption.


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