Vital Capital Impact Relief Facility backs Kenyan macadamia nuts producer Privamnuts

KENYA – Kenyan producer and exporter of macadamia nuts, Privamnuts, has received an undisclosed amount of financing from Vital Capital, an Africa focused pioneering impact investor.

Vital Capital issued the loan to Privamnuts, through its Vital Impact Relief Facility (VIRF), which was launched last year to help fundamentally sound African businesses navigate short-term challenges.

Privamnuts, which sources its nuts from the slopes of Mount Kenya, provides a key link between the more than 10,000 smallholder farmers who represent its exclusive suppliers and the export markets, where Kenya is the third-largest macadamia nut producer in the world.

The company’s strategic goals include improving smallholders’ access to agricultural training and boosting their earnings.

“We are excited to be partnering with Vital Capital, with whom our goals are aligned.

“Privamnuts and Vital believe in creating high quality jobs that can improve the economic and social well-being of workers and uplift communities without sacrificing performance,” said Privamnuts Managing Director, Patrick Mukundi Mbogo.

Vital launched the debt facility last year amid the global pandemic, when it was clear that economic shocks caused by the spread of Covid-19 threatened the ability of even financially strong African businesses to continue providing essential jobs and essential services to communities in need.

“While the global economy may be emerging from the pandemic, many impactful small and medium sized businesses in Africa face ongoing challenges at the same time that foreign direct investments in African are falling.”

Nimrod Gerber – Managing Partner, Vital Capital

Though some economies in Africa are emerging from the worst of the pandemic, what remains clear is that even under normal circumstances, promising small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) require occasional support to navigate short-term challenges.

This is why Vital Capital remains committed to utilizing its debt facility to safeguard the positive financial, social, and environmental impact that successful SMEs are bringing to their communities.

“While the global economy may be emerging from the pandemic, many impactful small and medium sized businesses in Africa face ongoing challenges at the same time that foreign direct investments in African are falling.

“The Vital Impact Relief Facility was designed to give these SMEs a chance to fight through these short-term challenges and realize their visions of becoming prosperous companies benefiting African workers and communities,” said Nimrod Gerber, Managing Partner, Vital Capital.

When VIRF was created in April 2020, Vital indicated it would initially launch in East Africa but is committed to expanding that focus to West Africa, including Ghana, Côte d’Ivoire, and Senegal.

Privamnuts has clinched the financing facility at a time Kenya’s macadamia production is registering a tremendous growth.

Kenya’s macadamia production has increased rapidly during the last decade, from around 11,000 tonnes nut-in-shell (NIS) production in 2009 to 42,500 tonnes in 2018.

The Agriculture and Food Authority (AFA) estimates that, with increased acreage under the crop, production will reach 60,000 tonnes NIS by 2022. That would constitute an increase by around 40 percent from the production achieved in 2018.

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