The African Rural and Agricultural Credit Association (AFRACA) in partnership with the Central Bank of Congo recently held a one-week Training of Trainers workshop on Agricultural Value Chain Financing (AgVCF) at Serena Lake Kivu Hotel in Goma, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

The training enabled staff from different financial institutions in DRC, Burundi and Burkina Faso who are AFRACA members to gain knowledge on AgVCF, reducing risks while lending along the value chain, product financing instruments, ICT’s role in AgVC financing and assessing the impact AgVC financial inclusion especially for small producers.

The Chief Guest, Mr. Carly Nzunzu Kasivita, Provincial Governor Goma shared DRC President Felix Tshisekedi vision on promoting agriculture to enhance economic growth.

“DRC is a country with enormous agricultural potential with its population at a greater risk of malnutrition, the Central Bank of Congo aims to promote sustainable agriculture and inclusive growth,” said Mr. Louis N’sa Elongo Isemoli, Chief of Staff Central Bank of Congo

Mr. Elvis Mutiri Wabashara, Member of Parliament, North Kivu emphasized on the importance of financial incentives and legal framework to promote agriculture in DRC, which remains a major and strategic challenge for many countries.

AFRACA’s Head of Multilateral Relations, Mrs. Caroll Bakang noted the training falls within the framework of projects which will be initiated to complement efforts of other stakeholders to revitalizing agriculture in DRC.

Field Visit

Trainers visited Lowa Chocolate Factory which is locally owned and recognized globally for organically growing its cocoa and exporting it to multinational companies such as Starbucks which is internationally recognized for selling well brewed coffee. In 2020, Lowa factory exported 11,000 tonnes of cocoa products.

Participants were also taken through the chocolate production process and marketing techniques of the factory to the global market.

The trainers signed a petition requesting the AFRACA Secretariat to consider having a Chapter North Kivu Province and organize other ToT trainings on AgVC in the region.

AFRACA has previously facilitated AgVC trainings for its member institutions across the Continent and a similar training will be held in Kinshasa, DRC in the course of the year.

Overall, the training had 62 participants from different financial institutions, and it was facilitated by AFRACA Value Chain Finance Experts who include Mr. Jean Olivier Kamwa (MUPECI) and Mr. Anderson Lubaku (SOFIDE) and Mrs. Caroll Bakang the Head of Multilateral Relations in AFRACA.