RWANDA – United Kingdom (UK) based social impact investor, AgDevCo, has announced a US$3 million investment into Minimex Limited, Rwanda’s leading maize milling firm, to expand the production capacity of the firm.
The investment is supported through UK Aid’s IMSAR programme aimed at helping improve market systems for agriculture in Rwanda.
Harriett Baldwin, UK Minister of State for Africa, said that the investment by AgDevCo’s investment will enable the firm increase its capacity as well as scale up its raw material sourcing capacity from maize farmers across the country.
“UK Aid has developed a longstanding partnership with AgDevCo and is pleased to see this third investment in Rwanda, which will spur the local production of nutritious food whilst creating new markets for maize farmers.
This investment will help to deliver more opportunities and jobs, which is in all our interests,” Baldwin said.
Minimex Limited is currently the largest and one of the most technologically advanced mill in the country with a capacity of over 40,000 tonnes per annum.
The family-owned business produces maize flour, grits and bran which are served to the local market as well as export to the East Africa region but has not been able to produce at its full capacity.
The group has a strong focus on food quality, safety and nutrition and was the first company in Rwanda to offer flour fortified with vitamins and micronutrients.
Felicien Mutalikanwa, Chairman of Minimex, said that as the company continues to experience increased demand for high-quality grain the investments is expected to drive growth along the value chain in terms of post-harvest handling, storage and logistics.
“This investment will significantly benefit maize farmers, livestock owners, consumers and the Rwandan economy in general by increasing production of fortified maize flour and high-quality animal feeds.
In the next year, we hope to be producing at 65% of the factory capacity and at 80% in the next three years. We intend to buy more maize from local farmers and ensure that we don’t face stock challenges as it has been previously.
We look forward to building a long-term relationship with AgDevCo, a well-reputed financier in the agri-business sector,” Felicien said.
Chris Isaac, AgDevCo’s Managing Director, said: “We’re delighted to back Minimex, an innovator in food safety and nutrition. Minimex drives impact at both ends of the supply chain, buying maize from smallholder famers and selling fortified flour to its customers.
Along with companies like Uzima and Kigali Farms, Minimex is helping build Rwanda’s reputation in the East Africa region for quality you can trust.”
Established in 2006, Minimex Limited is a family owned milling firm and also runs its feed production business through its subsidiary, ProDev Rwanda.
This latest investment brings AgDevCo’s total portfolio in three Rwandan companies to a value of $6.45m and has a long-term agenda of investing between US$10 to US$20 million in the next ten years in small and medium sized businesses.