MALAWI – South African based, United Farmers Fund (UFF) Agri Asset Management, the agricultural fund advisor within the Old Mutual Investment Group has invested in Malawian farming business, Jacoma Estates and its subsidiary.

Jacoma Estates is the parent company of Tropha Estates, an agribusiness in Northern Malawi developing over 1,000 hectares of irrigated macadamia and annual crops.

The company is focused on producing cash crops for export, has three nucleus farms and a macadamia processing facility. It has also established smallholder out grower schemes for macadamia, chili and paprika.

Being UFF Agri first investment in Malawi and Macadamia project, they were attracted to Jacoma by their strong management team and the leadership they have demonstrated in ensuring that the project provides benefits beyond employment to the local communities.

“Jacoma has initiated a smallholder program which provides livelihoods for thousands of people, and is working with international organizations to facilitate irrigation facilities for many more,” said UFF Agri Asset Management in a post on LinkedIn.

“We are also happy to join CDC Group plc and AgDevCo as co-investors and we look forward to rewarding relationship in years to come,” they added.

Jacoma Estates Limited was founded in 2007 by a group of private investors. In 2008, Jacoma’s Malawian subsidiary, Tropha Estates Limited was incorporated and started operations.

In 2014, the company realising the need for irrigation, partnered with Pearl Capital Partners, through the African Agriculture Capital Fund (AACF) and AgDevCo to accelerate the development of the company and its social impact through the farming network it has developed.

In 2016, CDC invested US$8 million of equity into Jacoma to help the company expand Tropha’s farming and processing operations.

At the same time, social impact investor, AgDevCo, invested US$3.5 million and AACF invested US$0.5m, structured both as debt and equity.

UFF has a large footprint, with operations in Morocco, Nigeria, East Africa, Namibia, South Africa and Swaziland.

Its focus is to invest locally and internationally to create a mutual benefit for the investor, their workforce and the countries in which they operate. Within the South African market, UFF has 6 farms that specialize in the production of citrus, table grapes, bananas, and deciduous and stone fruit.