$2m African investment for Devenish

Agri-tech specialist Devenish has announced a $2.25 million investment in Kenyan firm Sidai Africa as it accelerates its growth strategy in emerging markets.

Sidai Africa supplies crop and livestock services to farmers throughout Kenya, operating a ‘last-mile’ delivery service model that enables the company to reach some of the country’s most remote areas.

Belfast-based Devenish’s investment will enable Sidai to further expand its distribution network, launch new products and reach even more farmers across Kenya, the company explained. In Africa, up to a quarter of livestock dies each year due to preventable diseases, and by improving access to livestock products and services, Sidai aims to help farmers keep their herds healthy, which in turn helps increase income and financial security.

Sidai was established in 2011, with the support of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and Farm Africa, to help improve sustainable agriculture in Kenya. Founder Dr Christie Peacock said: “From a standing start, we’ve grown significantly over the past eight years and now have 11 stores, 87 franchisees, and directly employ over 120 people. Our mission is to enable every small-scale farmer in Kenya to produce food in a predictable and profitable way, and this investment will help us to achieve our goals.”

Devenish said the investment was part of its long-term growth strategy in emerging markets. “As a business, we are particularly focused on sustainable farming and food production and this new partnership will enable us to make a difference by improving the livelihood of small-scale farmers across Kenya,” added executive vice-chairman Peter Wallace.

Nicolas Mounard, chief executive of Farm Africa, said: “The deal means better, more affordable agricultural inputs and veterinary services for some of the world’s most neglected and under-served farmers, more jobs in agribusiness and, ultimately, more prosperous rural communities.”

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