The impact investor AgDevCo has invested $375,000 in Gee’s Fresh Point, a slaughterer, processor and marketer of frozen speciality meat, in particular guinea fowl, purchased from small-scale farmers in northern Ghana.
The all-debt financing package will support the upgrading and partial mechanisation of Gee’s processing line, a new cold storage and refrigeration truck, and the installation of a rendering plant to convert waste from the processing line into animal feed for sale, according to a statement by the firm.
“The aim is to take the business to commercial scale, so over the medium-to-long term it can attract private sector investment,” Tom Phillips, AgDevCo’s Ghana country manager told Agri Investor.
AgDevCo says as a result of its investment and increased processing capacity Gee’s will be able to purchase birds from around 1,500 small-scale farmers by 2019 at a value of $2.4 million annually. This is expected to result in an estimated 25 to 50 percent increase in income for small-scale farmers.
Guinea fowl is the most-reared avian in northern Ghana where it is bred by most rural households, according to the investor. Despite this, the firm says guinea fowl currently represents less than 10 percent of Ghana’s poultry sales.
Phillips says that northern Ghana is the part of the country with “arguably the greatest potential [for agri development and investment]. The climate is ideal for grain crops and it has abundant water.” He says that “market opportunities in the long run in Ghana as a whole are very strong. Lots of food products such as rice, tomatoes, sugar and wheat are imported” and these are all substitutable with locally produced crops, given the climate.
AgDevCo is backed by the UK’s Department for International Development, has $150 million assets under management and invests in agribusinesses across sub-Saharan Africa. In November last year the firm led a $6 million round of financing in Tropha Estates, a Malawian macadamia nut producer and processor.