Nigerian spice processor Agricorp diversifies operations into poultry farming with US$9m investment

NIGERIA – Agricorp International, one of Nigeria’s fast growing agro-processing companies has deepen its portfolio to include livestock production, processing and eventual export.

The company has invested N4 billion (US$9m) into acquiring poultry production facilities across three states in 142 poultry pens, with the aim to boost local poultry production by at least three million poultry birds per annum.

According to a 2019 report by the Central Bank of Nigeria, it was estimated that over 1.2 million metric tonnes of poultry meat were smuggled into the country from the Benin Republic.

This indicates that there is a huge gap in the poultry market and Agricorp is ready to contribute its quota to the efforts to close the gap.

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According to Agricorp’s Co-Founder and CEO, Kenneth Obiajulu, “The rising inflation rate in food and agricultural produce poses a challenge that stares us in the face. Our dependence on imported food items also contributes to the pressure on foreign exchange.

“Investing N4 billion (US$9m) across Kwara, Kogi and Nasarawa states will boost local poultry production by at least 3 million poultry birds per annum.

“At kick-off, the project will create a minimum of 1,500 jobs and contribute slightly to easing the pressure on foreign exchange caused by the importation of poultry into the country,” he said.

Under the project, Agricorp has set an ambitious goal of producing 40 million poultry birds by 2025, which will represent approximately 4% of the projected annual demand.

The company is confident it will achieve the set target as it plans to build over 1,000 poultry pens with a projected capacity of 10,000 birds each.

“We have demonstrated good faith by making our first commitment and investment. By Q2 2022, we will commence the second phase of deploying additional resources to hit two times our current capacity.

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“We are taking on the mandate to help improve the economy the best way we know how to – through agriculture,” On his part, Agricorp’s Co-Founder, Wale Omotimirin, said.

The firm called on Nigerian youths to join the agricultural value chain, saying it was ready to provide them with the requisite skills and capacity through its ‘Project Eclipse 2025,’ a poultry development programme.

Having executed the pilot phase of its poultry programme in Q3 2021, Agricorp said it achieved mortality rates of between five to seven per cent across its various farm locations with an overall 100 per cent off-take rate from its partners.

Since its launch in 2018, Agricorp has specialised in the production and processing of spices through which it has empowered over 5000 smallholder farmers and helped increase their income by about 20 percent while providing them with better market access to sell their farm produce.

Recently it raised US$17.5 million in Series A funding led by Vami Nigeria with US$11.5 million in equity.

 

The fundraising round also attracted the participation of Nigeria’s leading commodity trader – AFEX, alongside One Capital LLC, who provided working capital financing for the company.

The investment, will be channelled towards expanding its processing capacity to 7,000 metric tonnes, set up regional sales operations in South Africa and East Africa, acquire certifications for food safety and hygiene, increase staff strength to meet growing demand, and improve marketing efforts.

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