The business is based in Iganga, Uganda. Our investment enabled the business to upgrade its production facility which resulted in the increased provision of improved seed to smallholder farmers. Our investment also eased the working capital strain on the business.
We fully exited Victoria Seeds in 2010 after the business liquidated our quasi-equity instrument. Our investment assisted the business to develop operations in Gulu, Northern Uganda, and increase annual seed production significantly.
We exited Lachlan in 2012 after the business fully liquidated our quasi-equity instrument. Our investment enabled the business to protect itself against the risk of over trading, strengthen its balance sheet, expand on its product range and acquire new machinery to enable it to repackage bulk chemicals for sale to agro-distributors and stockists throughout Kenya (and elsewhere in East Africa).
Agrica Ltd was established in September 2005 to develop sustainable agribusinesses in East Africa. From late 2008 to date, it has redeveloped a defunct 5,000 ha rice farm in the Kilombero Valley, establishing minimum tillage cultivation over the entire area and state-of-the-art post-harvest processing.
In 2010, the company launched a transformative smallholder programme, introducing the System for Rice Intensification (SRI) to Tanzania. The SRI project, which has shown the potential locally to double traditional rice yields, is being expanded to 5,000 farmer families by 2016.
Our investment was critical in catalyzing the project, enabling the company to purchase the farm and attract an additional $25 million in investment.
Real IPM provides Integrated Pest Management (IPM) products and advice to the horticulture sector throughout the region, providing an alternative solution to chemical pesticides. Appropriate IPM results in reduced use of pesticides by the horticulture and floriculture industries, leading to improved health of employees and consumers together with a significant reduction in adverse environmental impact. Real IPM’s primary product is the mite, Phytoseiulus, which preys on the red spider mite , the most damaging pest for rose growers. Secondary products include inoculum for the soil fungus trichoderma. Growth of trichoderma is associated with reduced infection by other damaging microbes. The company also provides consultancy and advisory services to its customers enabling them to manage their IPM programmes efficiently and effectively. Our investment enabled Real IPM to complete its capital development programme and provided it with adequate working capital to scale up its current operations and support its ongoing product development activities. In terms of social impact, Real IPM has brought new technologies and expertise to the region and has provided employment to over 100 contracted Kenyans.
We exited Africert in 2012 through sale of our equity to a trade buyer.
Our investment enabled the business to retire short term loans, acquire appropriate vehicles for travel within Kenya and expand its staff base in order to take advantage of the current growth in certification and accreditation services to exporters of agricultural produce from East Africa. Our investment also enabled the business to access finance from other commercial sources.
We exited Earthoil in 2009 when our quasi-equity loan instrument was refinanced by Treatt plc, a UK-listed business which acquired Earthoil. Our investment enabled the business to install new cold-press equipment and scale up its production of speciality vegetable seed oils for export.