Kenya Budget 2018: Govt prioritizes agricultural and manufacturing agenda but consumers may have to pay more

KENYA - With a long term goal of ‘creating jobs, transforming lives and sharing prosperity’, the 2018 budget centred at the government’s Big 4 Agenda of growing The contribution of manufacturing GDP from 9% to 15%, but consumers may be required to pay more due to proposed amendments to the VAT Act 2013, considered to…

Wilmar partners with Singapore for a new US$80.1m research facility

ASIA - Asian agribusiness company Wilmar International and the National University of Singapore (NUS) have invested in a new research laboratory to conduct clinical nutrition and synthetic biology research to create healthier food products, worth US$80.1 million. According to FoodBev, the laboratory seeks to strengthen Singapore’s innovation system by conducting industry-relevant research and development. Research…

General Mills’ venture arm invests in GoodBelly Probiotics in a US$12m funding

USA - General Mills' venture arm, 301 Inc. has invested in NextFoods, the parent company of US probiotics firm GoodBelly in a US$12 million funding. NextFoods is raising the funding led by 301 Inc., with additional capital coming from existing investors, including Emil Capital Partners. The deal is significant for General Mills and its venture…

IFC invests US$25m in KazFoodProducts food processing group

ASIA - The International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group is investing US$25 million in KazFoodProducts LLP food processing group of companies operating in grain milling and confectionary sectors. The investment aims at supporting the company’s expansion plans, boost Kazakhstan agricultural sector through diversification strategies as well as enhancing global food…

Gotham Greens raised US$29 million in equity funding

USA - Gotham Greens, a leading urban greenhouse developer and grower of locally and sustainably grown produce, has announced the closing of US$29 million in Series C equity funding last month. According to the company, the new round brings the company's total funding until date to US$45 million, not including bank debt. Since its pioneering…

Botswana turns to South Africa and Zambia for maize imports

BOTSWANA - Botswana continues to import 170,000 metric tonnes of maize annually as it has always run out of corn due to insufficient local production, according to an article by AllAfrica. Speaking in an interview, Botswana Agricultural Marketing Board (BAMB) chief executive officer, Mr Leonard Morakaladi noted that on annual basis the country needed 190…

BigBasket in talks to acquire majority stake in Kwik24 start-up company

INDIA - The Indian online grocery and food products provider, BigBasket is eying a majority stake in smart vending machines start-up Kwik24 in an effort to expand its offline grocery business. ET Retail reported that according to people familiar with the matter, BigBasket had earlier launched a pilot program with Kwik24 to deploy smart vending…

SA management considers buying the largest African feedlot valued at US$450m

SOUTH AFRICA - The management of the largest cattle feedlot in the continent, Karan Beef (Pty) Ltd is planning to acquire part or all of the firm from its owner Ivor Karan in a deal that values it at US$450 million, according to people familiar with the matter. An article by Bloomberg revealed that Karan…

Nestle to invest Outsiders Pizza brands as part of its innovation models

FRANCE - Nestle SA, in line with its innovation models called ‘internal incubators’ will invest in Outsiders Pizza Co. and Wildscape brands as part of its innovation approach through start-ups. The investment enables Nestle combine its broad capabilities and strength with the speed and mentality of a start-up in order to conform to the ever…

EU invests US$2.37m in cashewnut project in Kenya to revive the industry

KENYA - The European Union has launched a US$2.37 million cashewnut and sesame value chain project to revive the ailing industry after the collapse of the sole processor at the Kenyan Coast, Kenya Cashewnuts Factory. Revival of the new factory, now under the management of the Millennium Nuts Company, brings hope for 15,000 farmers in…