AgDevCo is pleased to confirm that we are entering into three co-investment partnerships with Tanzanian businesses. The proposed AgDevCo investments will be funded by the UK Department for International Development as announced today by Secretary of State, Justine Greening - see DFID press notice. Justine Greening's speech "Tanzania Rising" can be viewed here.
Details of the proposed AgDevCo investment partnerships to be funded by DFID are as follows:
With Tanzania Tea Packers (Tatepa), to support the pioneering Suma Hydro Project, which is part of tea industry efforts to "green" tea production in Tanzania. The project has the potential to provide Wakalima Tea Company with a reliable and renewable power source, whilst also selling power onto the local grid, boosting employment and incomes in the Rungwe District. With DIFD funding, AgDevCo intends to support the project in its early stages through the provision of development capital, following which and subject to further due diligence, AgDevCo is pleased to provide in principle support for up to £2.5 million equivalent of risk capital to implement the project.
With Equity for Tanzania (EFTA), to support the expansion of EFTA's innovative financial leasing business, which provides equipment finance to small enterprises and farmer groups who are beyond the scale of micro-credit. The expansion of this business will allow access to finance for agribusiness entrepreneurs and farmers who might otherwise be "unbankable". Subject to further due diligence and the development of an agreed business plan, AgDevCo is pleased to provide in principle support for up to £3.3 million equivalent of risk capital to the business. We see our proposed investment in EFTA as part of a strategic alliance reflecting AgdevCo and EFTA's common objectives.
With Agrica, an intention to invest £6.3 million ($10m) in Kilombero Plantations Ltd (KPL), the Tanzanian subsidiary of Agrica, a British farm development company. AgDevCo's investment is funded by DFID as part of their Blended Partnerships initiative. Since 2008, after $40 million of investment, KPL has become East Africa's leading rice producer with a 5,000-hectare nucleus commercial farm and a transformative satellite smallholder programme lifting 5,000 farmer families from subsistence to surplus (see BBC TV story http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-19762740). The AgDevCo investment, which assumes improvements in the application of agricultural tariff policy by the Government of Tanzania, will be divided into two parts: an initial investment of $850,000 for a pilot rice-husk gasification plant to provide electricity for KPL's current operations and prove concept for larger biomass plants needed to expand irrigation across 3,000 hectares, and subject to customary due diligence, a follow-on investment in mid-2014 of $9.15 million for the expansion of biomass power, irrigation and the smallholder programme. This DFID investment in sustainable commercial staple crop production is a model for future African food security.