IFC and Johnvents partner to boost Nigeria’s cocoa production and export capacity

To help strengthen Nigeria’s agricultural sector and support the livelihoods of thousands of farmers, IFC and Johnvents Industries Limited today announced a partnership to expand the company’s cocoa processing operations and increase its export capacity to global markets.

IFC’s $23.3 million financing package, which includes local currency funding in Nigerian Naira, will allow Johnvents to expand its cocoa processing plant in Ondo State, Nigeria, and double its production capacity to up to 120 metric tons of cocoa per day, helping to provide steady incomes for farmers in its supply chain.

The financing package includes an $8.5 million loan from IFC’s own account, a $6.3 million loan equivalent in Nigerian Naira with support from the local currency facility of the International Development Association’s Private Sector Window, and a $8.5 million loan by the Private Sector Window of the Global Agriculture and Food Security Program (GAFSP).

As part of the partnership, IFC will also provide advisory services to Johnvents to help the company increase women’s participation in its workforce and across its value chain. IFC will also help strengthen the company’s ongoing sustainability and traceability program and advise Johnvents on enhancing efficient digitization and sourcing of its current processing capacity of cocoa-based products, including butter, cake, and powder for chocolates, confectionaries, and health products.

To support Johnvents’ sustainability efforts, IFC’s financing package will enable the company to replace inefficient diesel generators and wood-based boilers with a new efficient power generation system that uses natural gas to produce electricity and thermal energy, resulting in fewer emissions.

The system’s installation is designed to facilitate the future integration of renewable energy sources, such as solar, contributing to and directly aligned with Nigeria’s decarbonization strategy in agriculture value chains.

“IFC’s partnership with Johnvents marks another giant step in our commitment to transform Nigeria’s cocoa sector and agriculture industry. This support will help strengthen our operations and energize our commitment to sustainability, traceability, and inclusive growth. By doubling our production capacity and increasing export potential, we aim to deliver more value to all stakeholders and significantly contribute to the nation’s economic diversification and development. We are immensely grateful for IFC’s support,” said John Alamu, Group Managing Director, Johnvents Industries Limited.

“Agribusiness plays a critical role in fostering value addition and diversifying Nigeria’s economy. IFC’s financing and advisory support for Johnvents will help strengthen the company’s operations, develop Nigeria’s cocoa sector, and sustain and create thousands of jobs,” said Makhtar Diop, IFC Managing Director.

Cocoa plays a crucial role in Nigeria’s agribusiness sector and the country is one of Africa’s largest producers and exporters. By supporting Johnvents, IFC is contributing to allowing the company to meet higher demand and access new markets, while boosting Nigeria’s competitiveness in the global cocoa market, and increasing the country’s export earnings.

Johnvents has a target to achieve 100 percent traceable cocoa, with at least 90 percent certified, by 2027, and to improve traceability protocols for Nigeria’s cocoa produce for international markets.

IFC’s financing and advisory support to Johnvents is part of its strategy to promote diversified, inclusive growth and job creation in Nigeria, and is part of its broader work in Africa to support sustainable agricultural practices, increase local capacity, and develop regional value chains and markets.

About IFC

IFC — a member of the World Bank Group — is the largest global development institution focused on the private sector in emerging markets. We work in more than 100 countries, using our capital, expertise, and influence to create markets and opportunities in developing countries.

In fiscal year 2023, IFC committed a record $43.7 billion to private companies and financial institutions in developing countries, leveraging the power of the private sector to end extreme poverty and boost shared prosperity as economies grapple with the impacts of global compounding crises.

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About Global Agriculture and Food Security Program (GAFSP)

The Global Agriculture and Food Security Program (GAFSP) is a global effort that pools donor resources to fund programs focused on increasing agricultural productivity as a way to reduce poverty and increase food and nutrition security.

The Private Sector Window, administered by the IFC and supported by the governments of Australia, Canada, Japan, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, and the United States, provides long- and short-term loans, credit guarantees, capital and technical assistance to private sector companies and financial intermediaries. It links smallholder farmers to markets by improving their access to finance, technology, expertise, and inputs.

About the IDA Private Sector Window

As part of the 19th replenishment of the International Development Association (IDA), the World Bank Group is continuing the IDA Private Sector Window (PSW) created under IDA18 to catalyze private sector investment in the poorest and most fragile countries.

Recognizing the key role of the private sector in achieving IDA’s objectives and the World Bank Group’s twin goals, the window provides a source of co-investment funding and guarantees to de-risk private investments supported by IFC and the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA). The IDA PSW is an option when there is no commercial solution and the World Bank Group’s other tools and approaches are insufficient.

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About Johnvents Industries Limited

Johnvents Industries Limited is a Nigerian indigenous agribusiness and manufacturing group committed to driving sustainable growth across the agricultural value chain from production, processing, manufacturing, and distribution. The company is at the intersection of everything agriculture, unlocking immense values and ensuring food supply and premium export value for Africa. Johnvents Industries owns the Johnvents Cocoa Factory in Akure, an 18,000 MT plant with cocoa liquor, butter, cake, and powder outputs.

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