Pearl Capital Backs Poultry Business With Mix Of Equity And Debt

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Yield Uganda Investment Fund, an agribusiness impact vehicle managed by Pearl Capital Partners, has struck its third deal in as many months by investing UGX6.79 billion ($1.8 million) in Sekajja Agro Farms Ltd, in a blend of equity and long-term debt.

This marks the fund’s tenth investment in the Ugandan agribusiness sector and the third after  AMRI Farms and Pura Organic Agro Tech Ltd.

Sekajja is a Kampala-based company whose primary business is the rearing of day-old-chicks until maturity and the distribution of the mature birds as live birds and dressed chicken in the informal and formal markets, respectively. It also operates a feed mill, an abattoir, a cold chain and branded retail outlets.

Yield Fund’s investment will enable the company to scale its poultry production facilities and construct a new feed mill. It will also finance the expansion of its dressed chicken segment, covering the installation of a larger automated abattoir, cold chain facilities and spreading the footprint of branded distribution outlets.

Alongside the Yield Fund’s investment, Sekajja has bagged a matching grant facility of up to $218,450 managed by the International Fund for Agricultural Development to enhance both the technical and governance aspects of the business as well to ensure sustainable and prolonged growth and self-sustenance in the future.

David I Wangolo, investment manager at Pearl Capital, said: “This investment in the poultry value chain makes available much needed resources to the sector and agriculture in general, especially in a period where funding SMEs enterprises for growth has been constrained by a slowed down economy owing to the COVID-19 pandemic.”

NatureLock

FINCA Ventures has invested an undisclosed amount in NatureLock, a food processing company in Kenya.

NatureLock has designed a preservation method by blending natural starches and fibres to dehydrate fruits and vegetables, protecting the finished product from oxygen to retain nutrients and taste and increase the shelf life of the product.

Its first product launch, StewsDay, is an instant Ndengu stew designed for the low-income mass-market urban consumer.

The company is looking to design healthy alternatives to less nutritional easy-to-prepare products currently available in the market while decreasing the preparation time for local favourites.

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The firm was co-founded by Tei Mukunya Oundo and Wilco Vermeer. Oundo previously founded Azuri Health, a Kenyan company engaged in reducing post-harvest losses by sourcing fruits from smallholder farmers to turn into dried snacks for the local market.

Vermeer is also a co-founder of Tuttifoodi, a food processor in the Netherlands that sourced produce from farmers in Kenya to produce dry fruit and fibre mixes. He previously worked in operational and marketing roles at Unilever, Coca-Cola and Nestle.

ABC Fund

The Agri-Business Capital Fund (ABC Fund) said Monday it has invested $1.8 million in the Union Nationale des Caisses Rurales d’Epargne et de Prêt (UNACREP), a microfinance institution in Benin, West Africa.

UNACREP provides short- and long-term loans and microcredits to its members, collects deposits and savings from its members and clients and trains and builds capacity of its members. Over the past two decades, it has built a network of over 130,000 members, 40% of whom are women.

It is headquartered in Porto Novo and has 65 branches and outlets spread around the country.

Laurent Tolomé, CEO at UNACREP, said: “ABC Fund’s financing reinforces UNACREP’s expertise in agricultural financing. This financial injection not only boosts its capacity to meet the real needs of smallholder farmers, small producers and cooperatives, but also accelerates the establishment of two new branches in the cotton-growing regions of Borgou and Alibori, where it is not yet present.”

The ABC Fund is providing a credit facility to UNACREP, which will use the proceeds to scale its agriculture portfolio. The blended-finance impact fund provides financing to underserved yet profitable segments of agribusiness value chains in developing countries.

The ABC Fund was initiated by the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) in partnership with, and is currently funded by investments from, the European Union, the Organization of African, Caribbean and Pacific States, the Luxembourg government and the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa. The fund is managed by Bamboo Capital Partners in partnership with Injaro as investment advisors.
– Capital Quest

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