Agricultural Finance Corporation supports Kenyan women farmers with US$9.3m financing

KENYA – The Agricultural Finance Corporation (AFC) has extended a Ksh1 billion (US$9.3m) loan to women farmers as it seeks to empower women-led enterprises. The money, which is part of Ksh3 billion (US$27.95m) that AFC intends to loan women, has been disbursed over nine months, according to the agency’s board chair Franklin Bett. The institution last year started the Women Affirmative Access Window programme to drive financial inclusion in agricultural finance. Mr Bett said the loans have been made collateral free to attract women who would want to access funds…

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Swiggy raises US$800 million funding to bolster position in India’s online food delivery market

INDIA – Online food delivery platform Swiggy has raised US$800 million in an oversubscribed funding round led by Falcon Edge, Amansa Capital, Think Investments, Carmignac and Goldman Sachs. Existing backers, Prosus Ventures (formerly Naspers), its largest shareholder, and venture fund Accel participated in the funding round which also saw participation from new investors such as the Qatar Investment Authority and GIC of Singapore. According to a report by ET Retail, the new round pegs Swiggy’s valuation at US$5 billion and is coming at a time when food delivery platforms are…

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Leading Indian distiller Tilaknagar Industries to manufacture products for Pernod Ricard

INDIA – Tilaknagar Industries, one of India’s largest distillers, has signed a deal with French distiller Pernod Ricard to make their products at their Maharashtra manufacturing unit. Founded in 1933 as Maharashtra Sugar Mills, Tilaknagar Industries is among India’s ten largest distillers. It boasts of a diverse portfolio of brands in categories including brandy, whisky, vodka, gin and rum and sells Mansion House brandy. According to a statement from Tilaknagar Industries, the agreement with Pernod Ricard will be valid for the next ten years and could be extended to more…

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UAE manufacturing giant Agthia Group to acquire majority stake in Egyptian meat processor Atyab

EGYPT – Abu Dhabi-listed food and beverage company Agthia Group has announced that its Board of Directors has approved a strategic acquisition of a majority stake in Ismailia Investments (Atyab), Egyptian producer of frozen processed chicken and beef products. The acquisition would see Agthia acquiring 75.02% in Ismailia Investments, giving it an enterprise value of 3.22 billion Egyptian pounds (US$205.6 million). Ismailia Investments has a portfolio of four brands – Atyab, Meatland, Shiketita and Furat – catering to the value, economy and premium segments of the Egyptian market, Agthia noted…

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Attractive prices lure Brazilian farmers to corn cultivation, production expected to hit 105m tonnes

BRAZIL — Despite a smaller-than-expected first crop and delayed planting of second, Brazil corn produce is expected to reach a record 105 million tonnes in the 2020-21, according to a Global Agricultural Information Network (GAIN) report from the US Department of Agriculture (USDA). USDA in its report noted that corn production is expected to increase thanks to elevated domestic demand and record-setting prices which make the crop more attractive to Brazillian farmers. The Agency attributes boosted domestic corn prices to strong demand from the poultry and livestock sectors, the growing…

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Egypt’s local production of edible oil, meal to rise following expansion of crushing capacity

EGYPT – Egypt to continue relying on oil seed imports as a result of expansion of its crushing industry and local production being far below demand levels. The main oil seeds utilized in the country for production of both edible oils and animal feeds are soybeans and sunflower seeds. In marketing year (MY) 2021/22, production of soybeans is expected to be 25,000 metric tons (MT), against local demand of 4.64 million metric tons (MMT), according USDA Foreign Agricultural Services in a GAIN report. The consumption rate is 2.2 percent up…

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World cereal production in 2021 to increase for the third consecutive year – FAO

GLOBAL— The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has projected that the world cereal production in 2021 will increase for the third consecutive year thanks to sharp rebounds in key production markets in Europe, India and South Africa. According to the FAO, global wheat production is forecast to reach a new high of 785 million tonnes in 2021, up 1.4% from 2020, driven by a likely sharp rebound across most of Europe and expectations of a record harvest in India. Above-average outputs also are expected for maize, with a record harvest…

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South Africa’s edible oil imports to decline in 2021/22 resulting from rise in crushing capacity by 3%

SOUTH AFRICA – South Africa’s oil seed sector is expected to witness a bumper harvest in Marketing Year (MY) 2021/22, which will result to a drop in edible oil imports to 940,000 tons. Soybean oil imports are forecast to be around 130,000 tons and for sunflower seed oil to be at about 260,000 tons. According to a GAIN report prepared by USDA Foreign Agricultural Services, the decline will follow a 3% rise in edible oil imports in 2020/21 MY to around 950,000 tons. South Africa imported an estimated 150,000 tons…

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Olam’s 2020 annual report, a reflection of a company committed to sustainable growth

SINGAPORE – Global food and agri-business company Olam International has released its 2020 Annual Report, highlighting its key achievements for the year with a particular focus on financial achievement and progress in sustainability commitments. The company noted in its report that it successfully navigated the pandemic and emerged stronger, with a robust operational financial performance in 2020. The company’s overall annual revenues went up 8.6%, totaling US$35.8 billion, including US$12.5 billion for its food division, despite the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. In the report, Olam was also proud of the significant…

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Nestlé launches dairy free Milo in Asia, commits to protect region’s forest landscapes

ASIA – Nestlé has launched its plant-based version of popular chocolate malt beverage, Milo in Asia in response to a rising tide of consumers preferring more dairy alternatives in their diet. This new version replaces the milk in the original recipe with almond and soy, but the other two core ingredients – malt and cocoa – remain the same. Its launch follows the roll out of a plant-based Milo powder in Australia in 2020, a launch that created huge excitement in the country where Milo was first introduced in 1934.…

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