BURKINA FASO– Agroserv, a provider of sustainable agro-processing solutions in Burkina Faso, has received a €12.2 million (about US$14.5m) investment from social impact investor Oikocredit, impact investing group Investisseurs & Partenaires (I&P), and lenders BIO Invest and EDFI AgriFI.
Oikocredit and I&P are investing up to €6.2 million (US$6.5m) in Agroserv’s equity, while BIO and EDFI AgriFi will lend an additional €6 million (US$6.3m) to the company.
The investment will be used to build a new agro-processing plant in Bobo-Dioulasso, Burkina Faso, which will raise the company’s daily processing capacity from the current 50 tonnes to more than 160 tonnes.
It will also allow Agroserv to diversify into higher-value-added products such as high-energy flour, pre-cooked cornmeal, and soya protein.
Siaka Sanon, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Agroserv, said, “Beyond this significant financing which allows the realization of our agro-industrial project, Agroserv Industrie takes to profit from several decades of experience of Oikocredit and I&P in supporting of the businesses.”
Agroserv was founded in 2008 by Siaka Sanon and currently processes and supplies good quality maize-based products to companies and households in Burkina Faso, sourcing from and providing technical assistance to more than 6,000 smallholder farmers.
The new investment will enable Agroserv to increase the number of smallholder farmers it works with from 6,000 to 12,000 and to provide them with access to sustainable and efficient processing solutions.
Elsie Ndada, Investment Officer at BIO said, “BIO is pleased to contribute to the development of an agrifood transformation plant in Burkina Faso, which will increase the company’s processing capacity, improving efficiency, and diversify its product range and customer base”.
On his part, Prevost Kla, Equity Investment Officer West Africa at Oikocredit, said the investment strengthens the company’s support for sustainable agro-processing companies and smallholder farmers.
Landry Parkouda, Investment Manager at I&P, said they are delighted to support such an impressive entrepreneurial adventure that improves small farmers’ lives and provides high-quality flours to the market.
Aude Sauvaget, Investment Officer at EDFI AgriFI, reiterated saying, “By joining forces with Oikocredit and Investisseurs & Partenaires, we are proud to see the capital structure of AgroServ reinforced for scale-up and mobilisation of private capital.”
Ouagadougou-headquartered Agroserv delivers good quality maize-based products to companies and households in Burkina Faso.
Government school canteens and the World Food Program are the other major off takers of the company’s value-added products
Agroserve also contributes to farmers’ welfare by participating in addressing key farming and rural challenges such as low crop yields, access to inputs and markets, unfair prices, and poor living standards.
It is important to note that the funding took place concurrently with the exit of Sinergi Capital from the venture, making a successful exit from the company after 5 years of partnership.