ZIMBABWE –  Vakayi Capital, a venture capital company investing in outstanding entrepreneurs in Zimbabwe has said that it has concluded its second investment project in Zimbabwe, with the latest round in ZimAvian (Pvt) Ltd, a Ruwa based poultry hatchery.

The Herald reports that ZimAvian, which produces broiler and layer day-old chicks needs an extra US$250 000 capital injection to meet its growth objectives.

The funding will be used to import material for use in the expansion of its business including additional hatching equipment which will strengthen the business by doubling up the hatching capacity.

The company said the investment further enables them to deliver a greater number of day-old chicks and meet the growing demand.

“From a socio-economic angle, this expansion is also important when you consider the fact, supported by research, that increased poultry and egg consumption results in improved nutritional levels in Africa,” said ZimAvian.

“We are delighted that Vakayi has invested in our business, which aims to provide the highest quality day-old chicks to the Zimbabwean market.”

Vakayi’s chief investments officer, Patrick Makanza said: “This is Vakayi’s second investment and it shows our commitment to provide much-needed long-term capital to Zimbabwe’s SME sector.

We are delighted to work with Cyril Gunda (ZimAvian founder and chief executive officer), an ambitious, energetic and committed entrepreneur who is passionate about rebuilding Zimbabwe.

“Additionally, we are excited about the opportunity to invest in ZimAvian. Small-scale poultry farmers account for about 60% of Zimbabwe’s poultry production, with the majority of the farmers being women.

This investment is further testament to Vakayi’s investment philosophy of investing in businesses that have potential to scale while at the same time delivering meaningful economic and social impact,” he said.

The investment comes when poultry production in Zimbabwe is recovering from the effects of a single outbreak of Avian Influenza a year ago which also resulted in shortage of eggs.

Zimbabwe was declared AI-free by the World Organisation for Animal Health on 31st January this year, but the ban on the importation of all poultry products and live birds from South Africa remains in force as a control measure to protect the local poultry industry.

According to Zimbabwe Poultry Association, local production of hatching eggs declined by 35% from a peak of 7.1 million in May to 4.6 million in July and had recovered to 7.4 million in December 2017.

Data shows day-old chick sales (DoC) and retentions declined by 35% from 6.4 million in May to 4.2 million in July and recovered to a new peak of 7.1 million in December.

Total production of hatching eggs in 2017 was 68.9 million, being 8% lower than