Knowledge

Author: Imran Patel

Category:

Date: 24 January 2019

Ferme Jambo: Feeding the Future

 

Verdant Capital acted as sole advisor and manager to Ferme Agro-Pastorale Jambo SARL (Ferme Jambo), the leading integrated maize flour producer in the DRC, in raising USD 7 million in debt financing. Verdant Capital’s expertise, combined with Ferme Jambo’s strong leadership, convinced investors of the management’s integrity and vision along with the viability of the business plan.

Ferme Jambo was founded in 2014 by two leading DRC-based businessmen, who have built a reputed and diversified business group over the past 15 years. The company’s objective is to reduce the dependency on imported flour in the Greater Katanga region, where imports make up 70% of local consumption. The balance of 30% is largely produced by small-scale and subsistence farmers. Import substitution allows for price stability, the consistent availability of a quality product, and, therefore, also combats food scarcity.

Since founding, the company has invested a significant amount of equity capital into its operations, having cleared 2 000 hectares of arable land, with an expected yield of 16 000 tonnes of maize. The additional USD 7 million will allow the company to forge forward and expand maize production to a targeted 64 000 tonnes by 2023.

Ferme Jambo’s maize flour, branded “Jambo Breakfast Meal”, has achieved significant commercial success in the local market. Since introduction in March 2018, the product has become a leading brand, having challenged incumbent domestic and imported brands.

Furthermore, the shareholders of Ferme Jambo plan to make corporate social responsibility a key tenant of the vision and mission of the company. The company plans to assist in the improvement of primary healthcare and education along with the establishment of a technical skills development centre for the local community in Malambwe, Haut-Katanga. More directly, the company is a significant employer of the local population, including women, and whose future growth will only continue to uplift the surrounding community for generations to come. The impact of Ferme Jambo’s successes shall be wide-reaching.

The Ferme Jambo transaction represents Verdant Capital’s second successfully completed project in 2018 in the DRC. Verdant Capital sees significant untapped potential for the DRC given its 85 million potential consumers, significant mineral resources and fertile agricultural land.

Verdant Capital’s private credit business historically has serviced mainly financial sector clients. However, the firm currently also sees significant interest from credit investors into Africa in sectors such as agri-business, renewable energy, and affordable housing.

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