Food Security Receives a US$ 3 Million Boost
Uzima Poultry, and agri-SME, receives a US$3 million follow-on investment to increase food security and improve livelihoods for smallholder farmers East Africa
KIGALI, RWANDA & KAMPALA, UGANDA
May 5, 2021
Uzima Chicken, a leading distributor of high-quality, dual-purpose day-old chicks in East Africa, has received a follow-on investment of US$ 3 Million from AgDevCo.
The investment will contribute to transformation of the poultry industry in Rwanda and Uganda, providing smallholder farmers with high-quality, highly productive birds that can thrive in the local context. Through the Uzima breed, smallholder farmers and their families will have the opportunity to diversify their incomes and build resilience, while consuming more affordable nutritious animal protein.
Dr. Fadel Ndiame, AGRA’s Deputy President said, “The investment into Uzima Chicken will help the company work towards its mission to make smallholder farmers healthier and wealthier and achieve its vision to ensure each household in Rwanda have at least one chicken per year.”
The investment was supported by the Agribusiness Deal Room of the African Green Revolution Forum (AGRF). The AGRF is Africa’s premier agriculture conference, with its Deal Room being a leading platform for matchmaking high potential African agri-SMEs to investors. Incubated by the AGRF partners and the Government of Rwanda,the Deal Room’s Investment Facilitation Program contributed to thesuccessful transaction by paying for a comprehensive market and competitor analysis study, led by the CrossBoundary Group, an advisory services firm.
Hon. Claire Akamanzi, the CEO at Rwanda Development Board and Rwanda Cabinet member, re-emphasised the commitment of the Rwandan Government to facilitatingprivate-sector growth. “ We want to work with the private sector to identify and link them to opportunities where they will thrive. We are pleased that Uzima has responded to our conducive business environment, to which we welcome their continued growth.” She said.
The investment facilitation work is a critical component of the year-round engagement of the AGRF Deal Room. It serves to address the challenges business and investors face in raising and deploying capital while serving as a feedback loop for various supporting initiatives. Since its establishment in 2018, the Deal Room has brought the spotlight on Africa’s growing poultry and animal feed sector. The Deal Room also serves to advance and accelerate transactions towards successful deal signing and closure. The Agribusiness Deal Room of the AGRF and subsequent Investment Facilitation work will continue to provide catalytic support to the agriculture sector, unlocking capital for an underserved sector.
Joseph Shields, co-founder of Uzima Chicken, said that AgDevCo’s investment has enabled them to fully focus on the implementation of their business plan. “AgDevCo’s backing has enabled us to focus on the growth of Uzima. Currently, we have distributed close to five million birds.”
As part of their approach and business strategy, AgDevCo is seeking to invest more into African businesses to promote growth, sustainability, and impact. Chris Isaac, Chief Investment Officer at AgDevCo, expressed his delight at Uzima’s growth so far. “Since we first invested in 2017, Uzima’s progress showcases the potential that SMEs have to drive transformation of the agriculture sector if they have access to patient capital. We look forward to working with more businesses to drive further growth and impact in the region.” This follow-on investment means that AgDevCo has now invested a total of US$6M into Uzima Chicken.
Matchmaking and transaction facilitation in the Agribusiness Deal Room is implemented by CrossBoundary Group.
About the AGRF
The AGRF is the world’s premier forum for African agriculture, bringing together stakeholders in the agricultural landscape to take practical actions and share lessons that will move African agriculture forward. The AGRF Secretariat is hosted by AGRA on behalf of partners; itself an African-led institution that works in 11 countries across the continent. The Government of Rwanda serves as a long-term host of the forum, championing its agenda throughout the year and hosting the annual Summit in all even years.
About Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA)
AGRA is an alliance led by Africans with roots in farming communities across the continent. We understand that African farmers need uniquely African solutions designed to meet their specific environmental and agricultural needs so they can sustainably boost production and gain access to rapidly growing agriculture markets. We are catalyzing an inclusive agricultural transformation in Africa by increasing incomes and improving food security for 30million farming households in 11 focus countries by 2021. Since 2006, we have worked with our partners across Africa to deliver a set of proven solutions to smallholder farmers and thousands of indigenous African agriculture enterprises. The alliance has built the systems and tools for Africa’s agriculture; high-quality seeds, better soil health, access to markets and credit, and coupled by stronger farmer organizations and agriculture policies.
About Uzima Chicken
Uzima is the leading distributor of high-quality, dual purpose day-old chicks in East Africa. Uzima plans to transform the poultry industry in Rwanda and Uganda, providing smallholder farmers with a robust, disease-resistant bird that can thrive in local, rural conditions and is more productive than local birds. Through our breed, smallholder farmers and their families can diversify their income, build income resilience, consume more animal protein, and battle malnutrition.
AgDevCo is a specialist investor in African agriculture. We invest to grow sustainable and impactful agribusiness. Our vision is a thriving commercial agriculture sector which benefits both people and planet. We contribute to this by investing in and supporting agribusinesses to grow, create jobs, produce and process food and link farmers to markets. We reinvest our capital to reach higher impact which ensures efficiency and change at scale. We support our partners to work towards climate sustainability, and where possible, regenerative solutions. AgDevCo’s current portfolio has $138m of committed funds into 48 companies.
About CrossBoundary Group
CrossBoundary Group’s mission is to unlock capital to make a strong return and a lasting difference in underserved markets globally. The firm has over 100 professional staff, and offices in Accra, Bamako, Bangkok, Beirut, Bogota, Chișinău, Dakar, Dubai, Ebene, Erbil, Johannesburg, Kabul, Lagos, London, Nairobi, Tunis, New York City and Washington D.C. CrossBoundary Advisory was founded in 2011 and provides a broad spectrum of investment and transaction advisory services across a range of sectors in underserved markets globally.
Catherine Ndungu, Senior Communications and Advocacy officer, AGRF at firstname.lastname@example.org