Bridging the Gap


Financing Smallholder Cocoa Farmers in the Caribbean

In April, Connexus Agribusiness and PPP Specialist, Nikolaus Eichman, and Sr. Finance Specialist, Lois Sankey from Diamond Bank in Nigeria, traveled to the islands of St. Vincent and the Grenadines as part of a new partnership with the St. Vincent Cocoa Company (SVCC), a subsidiary of Armajaro Trading (now owned by ECOM Agroindustrials) and the Farmer Support Company (FSC). Connexus is working with both organizations to strengthen FSC’s lending program to smallholder farmers.

To build the capacity of FSC and SVCC staff, Connexus conducted its agricultural value chain finance training along with strategic planning and product development workshops. By the end of the program, a partnership was forged helping SVCC unlock access to finance for their farmers and FSC to reduce risk associated with lending to small farmers. Moving forward, Connexus will help FSC to develop comprehensive risk management systems and troubleshoot its lending program as well as identify second tier sources of capital for on lending.

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