Injaro Investment Advisors has announced its first investment in Ghana’s pineapple sector through its venture capital fund, Injaro Agricultural Venture Capital Limited (IAVCL). IAVCL has signed an agreement to invest in Gold Coast Fruits Limited. (GCF), a Ghanaian pineapple exporter based in Accra.
Founded in 2005, GCF is one of Ghana’s leading exporters of ‘Golden Sweet’ (MD2) pineapple with customers in Switzerland, France, The Netherlands, Morocco, and the United Arab Emirates.
The investment by Injaro will help GCF increase the volume and quality of fruit grown on its farms, expand its reach and market share in rapidly growing emerging markets, and source fruits from a larger number of smallholder farmers.
The capital provided by Injaro will allow GCF to invest in new equipment and technology, rehabilitate aging farm infrastructure, strengthen its management team, develop cost-efficient farming methods, and expand its reach across the Middle East and North African region.
The investment will also benefit local farmers. In conjunction with this investment, the Injaro Technical Assistance Facility (TAF) will subsidise a smallholder support scheme. This programme will integrate a minimum of 150 local smallholder farmers dedicated to supplying fresh fruit to the company. The Company will provide inputs, extension services and guarantee offtake for smallholder farmers. By improving farmer productivity and expanding its outgrower network, GCF will be able to satisfy currently unmet export demand for its fresh fruit.
Managing Director of Gold Coast Fruits Mr. Samuel Borlu said: “While GCF has proven to be one of the few producers in Ghana that can successfully cultivate MD2 on a commercial scale, we have been unable to expand production over the past couple of years due to our limited financial capacity.
“With Injaro’s investment, we expect to multiply production, significantly improve profitability, and restart our outgrower programme. With Injaro’s support, we expect to strengthen our position in the market as an ethical producer by increasing cooperation with our community, lowering the environmental impact of our operations and facilitating knowledge transfer on MD2 cultivation to smallholder farmers. Finally, by providing both equity and debt financing, Injaro provides an effective financing structure that will put GCF on a solid footing to become a pivotal player in the fresh fruit export sector of Ghana.”
Andrew Tarazid-Tarawali, Investment Analyst of Injaro Investment Advisors stated: “We are excited to have made the investment in GCF given the growing global demand for fresh pineapples driven by the global adoption of healthier lifestyles by the middle-class. We look forward to working with the GCF team and its partners to grow GCF’s business while once again positioning the country as a key pineapple exporter”.
Jerry Parkes, MD of Injaro Investment Advisors added: “This investment reinforces Injaro’s long-term support of Ghana’s agriculture sector, and hopes to enhance the economic contributions made by the country’s hardworking smallholder farmers. We recognise the efforts of GCF’s enterprising founders – Annona Sustainable Investments, GCB Bank and Stanbic Bank – whose support over the years has developed the company into a major local player. I believe that with Injaro’s partnership we can together revitalise the company to become an undisputed market leader”. Source: Ghana Web