April 2, 2019: Karandaaz Pakistan and National Rural Support Programme (NRSP) signed an equity investment agreement for scaling up Agriculture Processing Company Limited (APCL) as an Agriculture value chain proposition for small-holding farmers.
APCL aims to scale up opportunities for warehousing, financial inclusion, and the incidence of rural industrialization for small-holding farmers in the rice value chain. The model has already been tested and successfully implemented by NRSP over the last few years under the Innovation Challenge Fund administered by State Bank of Pakistan. The agreement signing ceremony was jointly attended by Board members and senior management of both the organizations.
Speaking at the occasion, Mr. Shoaib Sultan Khan, Founder and Chairman NRSP congratulated the management of both Karandaaz and NRSP for rolling out a project that will help the small holding farmers without compromising the principles of sustainability. Dr. Rashid Bajwa, CEO NRSP expressed his firm belief and confidence in the success of the initiative for achieving scale, profitability, and better opportunities for small-holding farmers.
Speaking at the occasion, Mr. Ali Sarfraz, CEO Karandaaz said, “This investment from Karandaaz is expected to contribute toward scaling up of business opportunities in the agricultural economy, food security, and reap better rewards for Pakistani rice farmers. Raising equity and debt financing is a key challenge for SMEs and Karandaaz is strategically placed to fill this gap as a long-term investor with a focus on SME infrastructure development. Additionally, Karandaaz’s investment in APC is expected to successfully demonstrate value chain services including warehousing at scale for the first time in the country.”
Karandaaz Pakistan promotes financial inclusion in the country through promoting access to finance for SMEs through commercially directed investments and financial inclusion for individuals through the promotion of digital financial services. Karandaaz also develops and disseminates evidence-based insights, and encourages innovation in financial space. Karandaaz has financial and institutional support from DFID and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.