AgDevCo concludes first investment in Kenya

The company will invest in the country's macadamia nuts industry.

AgDevCo, a UK-based impact investor specialising in agribusiness investments in sub-Saharan Africa, has announced its first investment in Kenya.

AgDevCo has signed a partnership with Root Capital, a financial institution that funds the agriculture sector in sub-Saharan Africa.

Through this investment, AgDevCo will invest $5 million (R74 million) in a consortium of four Kenyan firms specialised in macadamia nuts processing and exports.

The consortium is led Afrimac, which was founded in 2012 and its operations have expanded to reach over 5 000 tonnes of macadamia purchased per year. Other members of the consortium are Sagana Nuts, The Village Nut and Jumbo Nut.

This is the first investment realised by AgDevCo in Kenya, which is the third largest macadamia producer in the world after Australia and South Africa.  

AgDevCo’s financing will enable the consortium to buy nuts from 21 000 smallholder farmers to be processed into shelled kernels for export, the company said.

“Afrimac has strong relationships with its farmers, providing macadamia and avocado seedlings as well as farmer training. Nuts are weighed electronically and purchased directly in the field. Information is uploaded in real-time which allows payments to be made within 24 hours via mobile money,” AgDevCo said in a statement.

AgDevCo is actively seeking new investment in the East Africa region, offering long-term debt and equity of up to $10 million (R148 million) to agribusinesses that create quality jobs and engage fairly with smallholder farmers.