From Beyond Capital:
In March, Ben Grozier, our Associate and member of the Beyond Capital Investment Team, met a smallholder farmer working a two acre plot of land in rural Tanzania, who was hoping to sell enough produce this season to feed, clothe, and educate his family. This farmer’s produce cannot easily be brought to market without waste or spoilage, and so he struggles to make a living, earning approximately $200 per season. East Africa Fruits Farm & Company, our most recent investment, offers him the ability to get his produce to market regularly, and to know what price he will receive for his yield. Knowing when and how much he will be paid for his work allows him to better forecast spending needs for his family.
On average, farmers who sell through East Africa Fruits earn approximately $790 more per season than the average smallholder farmer and receive training in agricultural best-practices. The additional income enables farmers to buy improved seed, fertilizer, and other farm inputs that improve the quality of land and farm yields for years to come. East Africa Fruits CEO, Elly Timothy, is proving his company can meet the needs of individuals living at the bottom of the economic pyramid and be financially sustainable at the same time. Thanks to the increased working capital provided by Beyond Capital, East Africa Fruits projects it will be profitable in 2017.
East Africa Fruits is a production, trading, and distribution business aimed at minimizing post-harvest losses in Tanzania by buying produce directly from smallholder farmers and delivering to major local markets via cold chain logistics. The company sources 70-80% of its produce from approximately 350 smallholder farmers, and the remaining 20-30% from its own farmers in Bagamoyo, Tanzania. East Africa Fruits collects quality produce via rented cold-storage trucks, and cleans, sorts, and packages at a rented warehouse for distribution into Dar es Salaam. By building a fully-integrated cold storage chain, East Africa Fruits is bringing significant formalization and maturity to Tanzania’s agriculture value-chain and improving the lives of smallholder farmers.
Beyond Capital’s investment of $50,000 will support the ongoing construction of the cold chain, and provide East Africa Fruits with working capital to increase existing purchase volumes. True to our mission, our pro bono collaborator, Kirkland and Ellis, provided legal counsel to Beyond Capital as a part of the transaction.