Toyota JV invests in Zambia irrigation system

Funding will be used to build an irrigation dam in Mumbwa District in Zambia.

A JV between Toyota Tsusho CSV Africa, a venture development fund entirely owned by the motors group, and a German agribusiness has inaugurated a dam in the Mumbwa District in Zambia.

The Mauritius-based fund, inaugurated in January 2014, manages ¥1.5 billion ($12 million; €11 million). It counts Asia Africa Investment and Consulting and Yoshiyuki Sato, founder of the Kenya Nut Company, as advisors.

Toyota Tsusho invested $3 million in the JV with Amatheon Agri Group, a German agribusiness in sub-Saharan Africa via Toyota CSV Africa, Japan’s first venture development fund in Africa. Amatheon put in $7 million.

The new dam aims to develop 2,700 hectares of land for cropping of maize, wheat and soy by providing a steady water supply, according to a statement, and should reach its full capacity by 2017.

“We are happy to further extend our infrastructure whereby we expect to increase our productivity and contribute to Zambia’s further agricultural development and food security,” Carl Bruhn, Amatheon’s chief executive, said in a statement.

The agribusiness and food company operates agricultural projects in Zambia, Zimbabwe and Uganda. In a recent interview with Agri Investor, chief executive and Carl Bruhn said sub-Saharan Africa is a highly attractive market, characterised by tremendous growth in terms of population and GDP.