Niger, which the United Nations classifies as one of the world’s least developed countries, has a great need for investment in food security. Although almost 80 percent of Niger’s workforce earns a living in subsistence farming, the World Food Program estimates that 3.4 million people in the country are food-insecure. Smallholder farmers have very limited access to financing and local banks typically focus lending on other sectors.
Solution and Impact
A DFC loan guarantee will help Orabank Niger, the country’s eighth-largest bank, increase lending to SMEs in the agriculture, livestock, and food value chain sectors, which currently account for just one percent of the bank’s portfolio. The guarantee will also help the bank address demand for Islamic finance and deploy more digital financial services for remote farmers.
The loan guarantee represents the first-ever investment by DFC or OPIC in Niger, and advances DFC’s efforts to mobilize investment to the world’s poorest countries.