Today, AgDevCo announced its investment into Citrum SA to develop an export-focused banana operation owned and managed by a local team.
AgDevCo is teaming up with Nika, a group of experienced Mozambican investors, to rehabilitate a banana plantation with the intention of increasing the hectarage and yields. Production will be sold in the local market as well as exported to South Africa. The farms are currently producing various citrus fruits, and the banana plantation will be rehabilitated to become the main focus of Citrum. In all, over 140 workers will be employed by the farm, and the company is committed to promote real gender equality at work with key positions being occupied by women, including that of General Manager.
The funding from AgDevCo will finance capital expenditures, including irrigation, and operational costs related to the development plan. This investment will go a long way towards building one of the only Mozambican-run banana farms in the country. Nika have plans to create further agribusinesses and to foster local investments in the sector.
Carmen Ramos, Citrum General Manager, said “I am very proud of working with this strong and experienced group of investors and with Citrum which has a long and known history in Mozambique. The farms have a good potential for agriculture and its fruits enjoy good market access and customer success in Maputo. I hope to contribute positively to this ambitious project, and so do the workers at Citrum who are also very enthusiastic.”
Arnaldo Ribeiro, Nika Director, said “I believe in the success of this investment because there is a growing market close to us, an experienced team managing the business and the two farms have very good growing conditions for bananas. Moreover, the Mozambican investors grouped in Nika and AgDevCo all have a sound experience in managing agribusinesses in Mozambique.”
Rui Sant’ana Afonso, AgDevCo Mozambique Country Director commented, “The Nika team has a successful track record and is dedicated to making this investment succeed. We are very excited to support and develop Citrum. We believe that it will become a flagship project and encourage more local investors into the commercial agriculture sector.”
The UK Government, through DFID, provides funding to AgDevCo, for investment in agricultural SMEs and new agribusiness ventures in Africa. This will benefit hundreds of thousands of people across the continent, including Zambia, with jobs and better incomes, linking farmers to markets and helping to increase food security.
AgDevCo is a social impact investor and agribusiness project developer, incorporated as a not-for-profit distribution company in the United Kingdom. With support from UKAid, AgDevCo invests patient capital in the form of debt and equity into early-stage agribusinesses. AgDevCo’s mission is to reduce poverty and improve food security, and it has invested over USD 100 million in 58 agribusinesses in sub-Saharan Africa to date, connecting more than 240,000 farmers to markets and generating 7,675 jobs. For more information, visit http://www.agdevco.com .