LONDON, February 22, 2017 /PRNewswire/ --
Kigali Farms grows high quality mushrooms for the regional markets and supports over 1,700 smallholder producers. AgDevCo's investment allows Kigali Farms to complete the construction of a new production facility in Rwanda.
AgDevCo, a social impact agribusiness investor, announced a $0.45m debt investment into a Rwandan mushroom grower. The company, Kigali Farms, is completing a modern button mushroom production facility in Musanze District in the shadow of the Volcanoes National Park.
The first batches of button mushrooms are hitting supermarket shelves and restaurant tables in Kigali. AgDevCo's investment allows Kigali Farms to meet strong local demand from retailers, hotels and conference centres, and drive regional export sales.
AgDevCo will also support Kigali Farms' award-winning outgrower programme, which reaches 1,700 smallholders who grow oyster mushrooms. The company sells growing kits and offers a minimum price guarantee to buy the mushrooms, although many growers choose to sell their nutritious harvest within their communities.
Kigali Farms is aiming to develop a range of soups and other mushroom-based processed foods, for which it sees a burgeoning opportunity.
Laurent Demunyck, founder and CEO of Kigali Farms said:
"Our new button mushroom facility positions us to be the leading mushroom supplier outside of South Africa. We are delighted to be bringing top chefs a quality ingredient they have been yearning for. At the same time, we are driven to make oyster mushrooms a source of protein for thousands, possibly hundreds of thousands, of smallholder farmers."
Chris Isaac, AgDevCo's Director who led the transaction said:
"We believe Rwanda can be a regional leader in quality processed food products, tapping into growing demand in East Africa. Kigali Farms is a great example of a market-focused company committed to technical excellence with a business model which delivers strong social impact."
AgDevCo is a social impact investor incorporated in the UK. AgDevCo invests patient capital in the form of debt and equity into early-stage agribusinesses in sub-Saharan Africa. AgDevCo's mission is to reduce poverty and improve food security. AgDevCo has invested over USD90 million in 59 agribusinesses to date, connecting tens of thousands of farmers to markets and supporting c.4,000 jobs. AgDevCo plans to invest a further USD 8 million into Rwandan agricultural SMEs over the next four years, with financial backing from the UK's Department of International Development (DFID).
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