AgriFI Ups its Investment in Tanzanian business East Africa Foods Ltd with $ 2 million
This is an additional funding to EA Foods, focused on expanding operations in Dodoma and Zanzibar.
Dar Es Salaam, BRUSSELS, 9 February 2024 – AgriFI, the impact investment facility in the agriculture sector, funded by the European Union and managed by EDFI Management Company, announces an additional investment of USD 2 million in a local company, East Africa Foods Ltd (EA Foods) to facilitate the company expansion within Tanzania, especially in Zanzibar and Dodoma.
This injection follows a USD 1.5 million (EUR 1.3 million) investment in 2021 in the company, demonstrating continued commitment by AgriFI to support agri-SME growth in the region. The additional investment from AgriFI is strategically directed towards supporting EA Food’s growth by acquiring additional trucks, machinery and working capital to source directly from more farmers in the Northern and Southern rural areas. With this follow-on investment, the company is expected to have a positive impact on more than 15,000 farmers and 10,000 small retailers by 2025.
Elia Timotheo, founder and CEO of EA Foods said: “The ongoing support from AgriFI matters to us. The investment will fuel our growth outside of Dar es Salaam. It enables us to expand our reach and impact on smallholder farmers in Tanzania. We see an outflow of positive change in the region.”
The financing is in local currency equivalent, with more flexibility to the company and demonstrates the added value of EU intervention through AgriFI as an impact finance instrument compared to purely commercial investors.
Cedric Merel, EU Head of Cooperation to Tanzania and the East African Community, stated: “We are very proud to support young entrepreneurs, including women, in Tanzania through such concrete investments. The AgriFI Tanzanian facility is part of a EUR 100 million EU-funded programme which focuses on improving livelihood of smallholders in the country. Early example of the EU Global Gateway, the programme financed hard infrastructure, significantly improving the access to markets, to which EA Foods connects smallholder farmers in horticulture value chains.”
EA Foods collects, processes and delivers fresh produce from farms directly to urban customers – mostly street vendors – cutting the numerous intermediaries on the way. By doing so, the company tackles post-harvest losses and reinforces food security since 100% is for consumption within Tanzania. This activity also contributes to reducing the significant amounts of imports in Tanzania, namely in Zanzibar where it intends to source from local farmers. EA Foods also stands out by offering essential training to farmers and providing a premium for their products, contributing to the empowerment of local agricultural communities.
Rodrigo Madrazo, Chief Executive Officer of EDFI Management Company, stated “East Africa Foods is at the forefront of leveraging tech-enabled solutions which currently provides access to markets for more than 10,000 smallholder farmers. AgriFI goals align fully with EAF’s focus on innovation, technology, and addressing pressing challenges in the agricultural sector”.
Robin Boereboom, AgriFI Senior Investment Officer at EDFI Management Company, concluded: “We are very happy to keep supporting EA Foods, that has been significantly improving the livelihood of both street vendors and farmers. The company stands out by its steadfast dedication to the domestic market and cutting post-harvest losses. This facility will give them tailwind to roll out this successful model to other Tanzanian cities, and hopefully other countries in the future.”
AgriFI, the EU Agriculture Financing Initiative, is an impact investment facility funded by the European Union, with a mandate to unlock, accelerate and leverage sustainable investments in medium, small and micro agri-enterprises that operate in developing countries, with a specific focus on smallholder’s inclusiveness. AgriFI is managed by EDFI Management Company on behalf of the 15 European Development Finance Institutions.
About AgriFI – Tanzania window
AgriFI – Tanzania Window, is a dedicated EUR 12 million facility within AgriFI, allocated to entities operating in Tanzania. It aims to sustainably increase the production and incomes of smallholder farmers in Tanzania by investing in private sector enterprises focusing on farmers’ livelihood improvement, with a focus on tea, coffee and horticulture (fruits, vegetables, spices, herbs and seeds). This window also focuses on the less developed regions of the country, creating much needed local jobs. Female smallholders in particular will benefit from the window, as smallholders represent 80% of agricultural producers in Tanzania, and 75% of these are women.
About EA Foods Ltd
East Africa Foods is a tech enabled, food distribution company that aggregates directly from farmers, processes and distributes it to wide range of urban customers, mostly informal retailers. The company leverages in its network of more than 10,000 farmers to aggregate food and distribute to more than 7,000 businesses daily. The company envisions to become Africa’s largest food distributor by eliminating food waste with efficient food distribution systems while ensuring that farmers have a stable and growing source of income.
Learn more at www.eafoods.com.