AgDevCo have announced substantial financial backing for the rehabilitation of a Mozambican owned and managed farm to supply bananas to the local and South African market.
AgDevCo, a social impact investor and agribusiness project developer, is teaming up with the new owners of the farm Nika, consisting of a group of Mozambican investors and announced a US$1.5m investment in addition to the owners’ US$1.85m investment into the Citrum project. It will cultivate export-based bananas in southern Mozambique.
Carmen Ramos, Citrum General Manager, said the farms have good agricultural potential and its fruit enjoys good market access and customer success in the capital Maputo. The produce will be sold at local markets and exported to South Africa.
“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,” said Nika Director, Arnaldo Ribeiro.
The farms produce a variety of citrus fruit and the investment will facilitate the restructuring of the banana plantation by increasing the hectares and yields for bananas to become the main focus for Citrum.
AgDevCo will finance capital expenses like irrigation and operational costs related to the development plan. More than 140 workers will be employed on the two farms and the company is committed to promoting gender equality.
The operation will be one of the only Mozambican-run banana farms in the country.
Catalyzing local investment
Furthermore, Nika plans to create additional agribusinesses and wants to foster local investments in the sector.
According to the AgDevCo Citrum project page, if the Citrum farm is successful, it might expand support and Nika could serve as a best-in-class example of local investment in Mozambican agriculture.
“We believe that it will become a flagship project and encourage more local investors in the commercial agriculture sector,” said Rui Sant’ana Afonso, AgDevCo Mozambique Country Director.
The UK Government, through the Department for International Development (DFID), provides funding to AgDevCo to invest in agricultural SME’s and new agribusiness ventures in Africa.