ProDev has two subsidiary companies – Minimex Ltd – the largest manufacturer of branded maize meal in Rwanda, a manufacturer of grits, for the brewing industry and bran used in the formulation of animal feed. The other, ProDev Rwanda, is involved in the handling, drying and storage of maize.
Managing Partner of Fanisi Capital, Tony Wainaina says that the funding achieved through a combination of equity and debt will also pave the way the for scaling of ProDev’s business across Rwanda and the region, as well as initiate a program for the fortification of its branded maize meal to create a more nutritious product.
“Fanisi recognizes the strong commercial growth and development impact opportunities for the ProDev Group Holdings in Rwanda and the East Africa region,” Wainaina said.
He added that Between December 2011 and December 2012 Minimex’s capacity utilization increased from 22 percent to 43 percent.
“With Fanisi’s investment capacity utilization is expected to increase to an even higher level of 60 percent by the end of 2013,” he said.
With a significant minority shareholding plus active participation at Board level, Fanisi’s involvement will provide access to global expertise on supply chain management as well as enhance ProDev’s purchasing power; making a significant impact at a time when ProDev Group Holdings is poised to expand operations and enter new market segments.
The partnership with Fanisi will provide the impetus required to continuously improve the maize value chain, which is expected to make a positive contribution to Rwanda’s agriculture, the health of the population and its economic development.
ProDev Group Holdings is changing the nature of the maize value chain in Rwanda from maize grain production to post harvest processing up to introducing more nutritious value-added products to the population.
Together with their partner Bralirwa the subsidiary company Minimex is improving maize productivity through mechanization and irrigation at its farm in Kayonza.
Subsidiary company ProDev Rwanda, with its drying and storage facilities in Rwamagana, has proved to be the preferred buyer of local Rwandan maize cultivated in the East of Rwanda.
With the new investment by Fanisi, ProDev Rwanda plans to increase its storage capacity progressively from the current 2,000 tons to 10,000 tons.
Minimex is currently in the process of introducing fortified maize meal to the market, in collaboration with its partner-the World Food Program – in line with the Rwandan Government’s (Ministries of Health and Education) program to eradicate malnutrition among vulnerable groups of the population, more specifically those of school going age.
Plans are underway to establish an animal feed plant over the next 12-months, which will enrich and add value to bran – another maize production by-product – that has traditionally been sold as-is to farmers in Rwanda and to animal feed plants in Kenya.