Whether for profit or social motives - and often both - an increasing number of investors are targeting opportunities in African agriculture. At the same time innovative approaches for deploying aid to support farming businesses linked to smallholders are emerging. This blog provides a snapshot of who is doing what, where and how.

6 June 2014

AgDevCo $1.5m investment in Rungwe Avocado Company, Tanzania

AgDevCo is delighted to announce a USD1.5 million investment into Rungwe Avocado Company (RAC), an avocado growing and export business based in Tukuyu, in the Rungwe region of southwest Tanzania.

RAC is a pioneer in the development of Tanzania’s horticulture industry. In 2009, it was the first ever farming business to trial avocado exports by air freight to European markets. Today RAC is establishing refrigerated sea shipment routes to Europe and beyond – another important breakthrough for the industry.

The business is helping to improve the living standards of local farmers. RAC engages over 3,000 smallholders as part of its outgrower network. Farmers receive inputs and training as well as a fair price for their production. By 2018, over 75% of the avocados sold by RAC are expected to be grown by local farmers, resulting in some USD0.8m being paid annually into the local community.

RAC is set to receive a USD1.2m loan from AgDevCo with another USD0.3m invested in the form of equity. The investment will support the installation of a micro jet irrigation system on the commercial farm to boost yield performance. It will also fund ongoing operations, including management of the outgrower scheme.

AgDevCo is supporting a range of horticulture projects in Sub-Saharan Africa. We believe that by helping socially-responsible businesses like RAC to access international markets we can contribute to the modernisation of the agriculture sector and help deliver better incomes for thousands of smallholder farmers.