A consortium comprised of Norfund, Norway’s investment fund for developing nations, and a group of private investors managed by 54 Capital, has announced an investment of $21 million in growth capital for SAMANU, Ethiopia’s largest fast-moving consumer goods platform (FMCG).
The investment will fund the construction of a new solvent extraction plant to produce edible oils based on locally sourced sesame, sunflower and soya beans in its refineries.
Norfund stated that by reducing the dependency on imported raw materials, the investment aims to create jobs in value-addition and increase Ethiopia’s food security. The completion of a vertical integration project will also allow for increased export opportunities within the sectors the company already operates.
Norfund also indicated that to produce enough volume of locally produced oilseeds for its refineries, the company intends to develop large oilseeds clusters in Ethiopia over the next six years, providing livelihoods for 200,000 smallholder farmers. In the first six months post investment, the objective of the fund is to identify 642 clusters and sign contracts with around 5-7,000 smallholder farmers.
Norfund plans to use grant funding through its Business Support Facility to assist contracted smallholder farmers with inputs like high quality seeds, fertilizers, training and capacity building, as well as agricultural technology to boost productivity.
SAMANU is a platform company with well-established brands operating in Ethiopia’s main FMCG sub-sectors, including Tena Edible Oils, 555 and Aura Soap & Detergents, and Chef Luca wheat products.