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Jacoma Estates Group Will Expand Malawian Farming Operations Thanks To $11.5m Investment

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Jacoma Estates announced today that they have secured $11.5m of investment – $8m of equity has been sold to the UK government owned development finance institution CDC whilst social impact investor AgDevCo have provided $3.5m in exchange for debt and preference shares.

Jacoma produces high value macadamia nuts, chilli and paprika at Tropha Estates in Northern Malawi; the company planted and irrigated 370 hectares of macadamia trees thanks to an initial loan of $2m from AgDevCo which was taken in 2014 – the company hopes that the new investment will help 1,000 more farmers reach export markets and create 350 more jobs as well as enabling climate smart agricultural practices that help to protect local smallholders.

“Malawi is a high-quality macadamia nut producer. With investment in irrigation and processing we can help the country further build a globally competitive macadamia industry. Smallholders can play an important role in the value chain. This will in turn give their families a reliable source of income.”

said Duncan McDavid, CEO of Jacoma.

“Jacoma is a good example of the benefits a socially-responsible agribusiness can deliver to local communities. We are particularly pleased that irrigation will be extended to smallholder farmers in an area prone to drought”,

commented AgDevCo’s Investment Director Chris Isaac, and CDC’s Investment Director Daudi Lelijveld added:

“CDC’s investment in Jacoma will boost agricultural growth and poverty reduction in Malawi. Jacoma plays a vital role in Northern Malawi, providing good quality jobs, as well as new markets for local farmers.”

The Tropha estate already runs successful outgrower schemes for chillies and paprika involving 4,000 smallholder farmers, and has used an additional $450,000 loan to provide seeds and training to farmers – Tropha Estates have invested in more than 540 tonnes of local produce over the past 3 years – worth more than $900,000 to the local community.

Now Tropha wants to do the same thing for Macadamia: the firm will use the investment from AgDevCo – backed by the MasterCard foundation, to add the nut to its outgrower programme and plan to distribute more than 50,000 seedlings over the course of 2017, which have been grown in a nursery on the estate.

AgDevCo have invested over $90 million into 55 agribusiness – the enterprise is backed by DFID, the Department for International Development, and invests through debt and equity into early stage agribusinesses in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Its mission is to reduce poverty and improve food security, and the company has so far helped 160,000 farmers connect to markets and helped to support roughly 4,500 jobs. Investments include into sugarcane, groundnuts, macadamia nuts, and chillies, and the company say they have a further $12 million to invest into Malawi.

The CDC group is wholly owned by the government and invests in both sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia to try to support economic development and help create jobs. CDC has been investing since its establishment in 1948 and provides all forms of capital, with net assets of £3.9bn.

CDC made the investment into Jacoma via the Impact Accelerator which allows for investing in ventures “with more challenging risk-return profiles than typically considered by purely commercial investors, while capitalising on CDC’s long-standing reputation as the oldest DFI and its experience and networks in Africa and South Asia.


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