Proparco and FISEA+ are supporting Maris, in implementing innovative and sustainable practices within its companies

published on 05 April 2024
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Agris - Maris - Photo
Proparco, through FISEA+, is allocating a 490 000€ Technical Assistance (TA) facility to Agris Africa Limited and its affiliated agri-food enterprises in Kenya and South Sudan. The purpose of this TA facility is to support internal transformation projects to ensure the sustainable growth of Maris in East Africa. This financing is a part of the French "Choose Africa" initiative implemented by the AFD Group.

Following FISEA’s US$ 12 million investment in the Maris Africa fund in 2022, this partnership is being expanded: Proparco will support the company's Forestry and Agriculture businesses and through grants, will support projects aimed at enhancing their positive impact.

Maris operates food production, horticulture, forestry and agricultural companies that are working to accelerate the integration of East Africa's agricultural stakeholders into global food systems and strengthen the continent's food security. The portfolio includes Evergreen Herbs, an exporter of fresh cut herbs, as well as Equatoria Teak Company (ETC), a sustainable forestry operation in South Sudan.

Among other objectives, the projects set to be carried out through the TA facility, will strengthen the companies’ initiatives with surrounding communities to promote economic inclusion, consolidate their gender equality strategy, broaden local distribution channels and develop higher value-added products in high vulnerable regions, such as South Sudan.

Overall, these activities will contribute to create direct and indirect jobs, training for farmers and enable greater women's empowerment. 38% of Maris businesses have been able to meet the 2X Challenge criteria. The 2X Challenge initiative, launched by the G7 development finance institutions, aims to mobilise US$ 15 billion for investments in the world’s women.

Manal Tabet, Deputy Head of Technical Assistance & Blending Unit (ATM) at Proparco: "Encouraging the agri-food sector in Africa to develop and strengthen its position in value chains while adopting practices that are in line with our impact objectives at the same time, such as including gender issues or better management of natural resources, aligns with our technical assistance goals as a development bank. And we are delighted to be able to support Maris in these strategic and exciting challenges ".


In 2009, the AFD Group created the FISEA facility to support economic growth and the creation of start-ups and MSMEs on the African continent. As part of the Choose Africa initiative, FISEA+ was launched at the beginning of 2021. With an investment capacity of EUR 210 million and a technical assistance budget of EUR 21 million, this initiative invests in high-impact funds addressing four key strategic priorities: support for SMEs, the emergence of social businesses, the development of a sustainable private sector in fragile countries, and support for start-ups specialising in digital innovation.
FISEA+ Technical Assistance (TA) aims to provide expertise and know-how tailored to the needs of fund managers and MSMEs in portfolio through three types of projects: "Responsibility", "Performance" and "Impact".