SA food fund in R50m Tanzania deal

30 May 2013

South African private equity food and agribusiness fund Agri-Vie has invested R50-million in the Tanzanian Food Corporation (TFC) to develop the country’s beef industry to meet fast-growing consumer demand.

“There is a growing demand for quality meat products thanks to a growing middle class, increased investment, increasing awareness of food safety and the growth and development of a number of sectors in the country,” Agri-Vie managing partner, Herman Marais, said in a statement on Wednesday.

Agri-Vie was established by financial services group Sanlam Private Equity and investment firm SP-aktif to drive sustainable growth in sub-Saharan Africa’s food sector.

Agri-Vie’s Africa investment fund looks to invest in projects with positive development impacts and good financial returns.

Tanzania’s meat industry has significant potential nationally and regionally, according to Marais.

“Agri-Vie’s injection of risk capital over the next few years, the importation of genetic material from neighbouring African countries, enhanced animal foods and beef sector know-how will see the company increase production and sales many-fold,” he said.

“We are proud to join the local and international founding shareholders of TFC who have developed the venture to a stage ready for significant expansion.”

The TFC operations area is primarily in the Iringa region of the southern Tanzanian highlands and forms part of the Southern Agricultural Growth Corridor of Tanzania, which is a public-private investment initiative to drive agribusiness output.

“The operation comprises of abattoir and processing facilities, a sales and distribution channel, an estate rearing beef cattle, in combination with a supply chain for a fattening herd of cattle and sheep and an arable farming operation focusing on maize and soya as a basis for animal feeds,” Marais said.

“There is also significant scope for value added products, as some 700 metric tons of processed meat are currently imported into the country annually.”

SAinfo reporter