LONDON – London-based African agriculture investment firm, AgDevCo, has made a second investment of $3 million in Uzima Chicken Ltd., a poultry producer operating in Rwanda and Uganda. Because the follow-up investment comes in the form of a mezzanine debt investment, it will not require payment during the term of the debt, but only at the end of the term. This gives Uzima the flexibility to use the money in different ways.
“We're delighted with Uzima's progress so far,” said Chris Isaac, chief investment officer at AgDevCo. “The company is delivering higher incomes and better nutrition to tens of thousands of low-income households – and doing so profitably. As a long-term partner, we look forward to helping drive further growth and impact in the region.”
AgDevCo's first investment in 2017 helped launch Uzima in Rwanda. Since then, the company has grown rapidly to reach over 59,000 households. The new capital will allow Uzima to expand production capacity, vertically integrate into poultry feed and increase its impact across the Great Lakes Region of Africa including Burundi, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Kenya, Malawi, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda.
“AgDevCo backed us before our first chick was hatched in Rwanda,” said Dave Ellis, co-founder of Uzima Chicken Ltd. “Now four years and some five million birds later we are pleased to be deepening our relationship with AgDevCo to drive further expansion.”
Uzima supplies day-old chicks to small, independent distributors who rear the birds for six to eight weeks and then sell them to smallholder farmers. The breeds are dual purpose, making them ideal for rearing outdoors for both meat and eggs.
AgDevCo also supports Uzima through technical assistance, including recruiting and training a network of veterinary staff.
Trust Law Chambers in Rwanda and BLC Robert & Associates in Mauritius supported AgDevCo on the transaction.