AgDevCo, a social impact agribusiness investor, announced a $0.45m debt investment into a Rwandan mushroom grower. The company, Kigali Farms, is completing a modern button mushroom production facility in Musanze District in the shadow of the Volcanoes National Park. The first batches of button mushrooms are hitting supermarket shelves and restaurant tables in Kigali. AgDevCo’s investment allows Kigali Farms to meet strong local demand from retailers, hotels and conference centres, and drive regional export sales.
AgDevCo will also support Kigali Farms’ award-winning outgrower programme, which reaches 1,700 smallholders who grow oyster mushrooms. The company sells growing kits and offers a minimum price guarantee to buy the mushrooms, although many growers choose to sell their nutritious harvest within their communities. Kigali Farms is aiming to develop a range of soups and other mushroom-based processed foods, for which it sees a burgeoning opportunity.
Laurent Demunyck, founder and CEO of Kigali Farms said:
“Our new button mushroom facility positions us to be the leading mushroom supplier outside of South Africa. We are delighted to be bringing top chefs a quality ingredient they have been yearning for. At the same time, we are driven to make oyster mushrooms a source of protein for thousands, possibly hundreds of thousands, of smallholder farmers.”
Chris Isaac, AgDevCo’s Director who led the transaction said:
“We believe Rwanda can be a regional leader in quality processed food products, tapping into growing demand in East Africa. Kigali Farms is a great example of a market-focused company committed to technical excellence with a business model which delivers strong social impact.”