Belfast Telegraph

Devenish to invest £1.7m in Kenyan sustainable farming firm

Future growth: Michael Maguire
Future growth: Michael Maguire
Ryan McAleer

By Ryan McAleer

Northern Ireland agri-tech group Devenish has announced a $2.25m (£1.7m) investment in a Kenyan company set up by the Bill Gates Foundation.

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

The east African firm was established in 2011 with the backing of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and Farm Africa, to help improve sustainable agriculture. It now employs 120 people.

Up to a quarter of livestock die every year in Africa due to preventable diseases. By improving access to livestock products and services, Sidai helps farmers keep their herds healthy, which Devenish said helps increase income and financial security.

Devenish said its investment, which "fits in with its long-term growth strategy in emerging markets", will enable Sidai to further expand its distribution network, launch new products and reach even more farmers across Kenya.

The Belfast-headquartered group, which employs just over 500 people, now trades in more than 40 countries.

Last month Devenish announced a 20% rise in global turnover to £225m, as it continues on an expanding worldwide growth trajectory.

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Michael Maguire, Devenish's east African director, said: "Sidai has already had a very positive impact on the local farming community and I hope that this investment, coupled with our commercial input, innovation and nutritional expertise, will help the company grow further."

Belfast Telegraph

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