News Column

United States : IFC and GAFSP Promote Africa s Sustainable Fruit Industry with $10 million Investment in Malawi Mangoes

July 3, 2014

IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, and the Private Sector Window of the Global Agriculture and Food Security Program (GAFSP) will each invest $5 million in Malawi Mangoes to support expansion of its tropical fruit production and processing operations.

On final certification, expected in the coming months, Malawi Mangoes will be the first ever banana plantation in Africa to receive Rainforest Alliance accreditation and the first mango plantation in the World to receive this accreditation. The organization plans to scale up operations and exports, bringing more rural jobs and increasing opportunities for farmers to supply fruit to the company through its smallholder outreach and development programs.

The Dutch development bank, FMO, will also invest $5 million to Malawi Mangoes, through the Dutch government fund FOM-OS, concurrent with the IFC investment.

The overall $15 million financing package will fund capital investment plans, including an expanded nursery, a new 1,200 hectare plantation, installation of climate-smart drip irrigation technology across the new farm and nursery, as well as expanded ripening chamber capacity and a second processing line at the processing facility.

Jonathan Jacobs and Craig Hardie, joint Founders and Managing Directors of Malawi Mangoes said, "Malawi only needs investment and access to markets to become a regional leader in high-value horticultural production and processing. This investment by IFC and FMO, combined with the empowerment of local people, puts us on the path to our goal of becoming the leading agro-processing company on the African continent over the next five years.

German Vegarra, IFC s Regional Head of Manufacturing, Agribusiness and Services said, Malawi is one of the poorest countries in the world, and 80 percent of its citizens live in rural areas. Sustainable agribusiness is an opportunity for developing countries to diversify exports, generate foreign exchange, transfer core skills, create jobs, and reduce poverty.

Linda Broekhuizen, FMO s Chief Investment Officer said, With this new investment Malawi Mangoes can start benefiting from economies of scale while at the same time empowering local people thus having a tremendous positive impact on the local rural employment in Salima District."

Expanding middle classes in developing countries are boosting demand for fruit juices and drinks. Malawi Mangos aims to meet this demand by increasing sustainable production and processing. The company plans to increase employees fourfold over the next four years to about 2,600 full time staff. During this time, it also plans to increase the number of farmers who supply fruit to the company to approximately 6,000. It will continue to apply for Rain Forest Alliance certification for all of its plantations going forward.

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Source: TendersInfo (India)

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