UK investment firm AgDevCo is providing US$1.8m in financing to Malawi poultry operator Food and Feeds Wholesalers to expand its cold chain infrastructure and build a modern processing unit.

The London-based social-impact investor said the funds will be in the form of a seven-year debt investment and will help the company known as Kapani meet increasing demand for quality meat products in the African nation. In the longer term, the funds will help expand its market within the East Africa region, AgDevCo said in a statement today (13 September).

Kapani will also establish an outreach programme for local farmers, providing training and a reliable market, and will work with up to 1,000 small-scale chicken producers under contract. Kapani will buy and process the chickens and sell them under a new brand targeting the value segment.

Leon Swart, the owner of Food and Feeds Wholesalers, said: “The poultry industry [in Malawi] is expanding and this investment gives the small-holder farmers the opportunity to enter into the formal and commercial markets and realise the real value for their broilers.”

AgDevCo is incorporated as a not-for-profit business in the UK, and with support from UKAid invests “patient capital in the form of debt and equity into early-stage agribusinesses”.

“This is a great opportunity to invest alongside Kapani in developing the poultry industry and helping the informal sector grow their businesses,” said Riz Khan, a business associate for AgDevCo Malawi.