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AgDevCo expands agri-investment in Rwanda

AgDevCo has closed a US$3mn mezzanine loan with Minimex Limited, a maize milling company, in Rwanda

This builds on a portfolio which comprises Kigali Farms, a mushroom grower and Uzima, a day-old chick producer.

AgDevCo's investment aims to allow the Rwandan-owned company to increase its capacity and ramp up purchases from tens of thousands of maize farmers across the country.

Minimex's increased demand for high-quality grain is expected to drive further investment along the value chain in post-harvest handling, storage and logistics. This investment in Minimex was supported through UK Aid's IMSAR programme, also called Noza Isoko, which is helping improve market systems for agriculture in Rwanda.

Harriett Baldwin, the UK minister of state for Africa, who visited Minimex on Saturday 6th April, said, “The UK aid has developed a longstanding partnership with AgDevCo and is pleased to see this third investment in Rwanda, which will spur the local production of nutritious food whilst creating new markets for maize farmers. This investment will help to deliver more opportunities and jobs, which is in all our interests.”

Felicien Mutalikanwa, chairman of Minimex, noted, “This investment will significantly benefit maize farmers, livestock owners, consumers and the Rwandan economy in general by increasing production of fortified maize flour and high-quality animal feeds. We look forward to building a long-term relationship with AgDevCo, a well-reputed financier in the agri-business sector.”

AgDevCo's other investments in Rwanda are performing well. From start-up two years ago, Uzima now reaches more than 15,000 households who are collectively earning US$2.5mn annually from egg sales.

Kigali Farms is seeing steady sales growth for its export quality button mushrooms in Rwanda, Kenya and Uganda. Kigali Farms also has an innovative outgrower programme for nutritious oyster mushrooms, working mainly with female farmers.

The Minimex investment brings AgDevCo's total portfolio in Rwanda to a value of US$6.45mn.