South Africa’s Western Cape ag sector is set to receive a boost, as the province’s investment promotion agency focuses on agri-processing as a means towards economic growth and job creation.
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San Francisco-based Plenty has raised $200m from Japan’s SoftBank Group and other high-profile investors in what it calls ‘the largest agriculture technology investment in history’.
The 14 berry and citrus farms could fetch as much as A$300 million, according to Kidder Williams, the agricultural corporate advisory firm executing the sale.
The transaction marks the first exit for the firm’s Agri-Vie Fund I, which invested $4 million in the South African company in 2009.
The $30bn pension has committed $75m to a food-focused fund managed by KKR spin-out Butterfly Equity.
Private equity can respond to consumer demand by helping encourage adoption of new technologies and conversion of conventional farmland to organic production, according to Rabobank.
Impact Vision and Ag Voice took home the people’s and judge’s choice awards, respectively, at Rabobank’s Food Bytes conference in New York.
Kim Homa and Robin Olson, both formerly of USC Consulting Group, have joined the food and consumer-focused firm to focus on supply chains and manufacturing, respectively.
The agricultural lender said that a certification supporting a price premium for produce from farms transitioning to organic production could help ease growing supply challenges.
South Africa’s agricultural sector grew 5.5% in Q1 2017 and booked a record maize crop.