Devenish launches £1.7 million investment in Kenya

Belfast-based agri-technology company Devenish has launched a £1.7 million investment in an agri-services firm in Kenya.

Sidai Africa provides crop and livestock services to farmers throughout the east African country, and reaches some of Kenya’s most remote areas.

The company aims to improve access for farmers to livestock products and services, in a country were up to a quarter of livestock dies every year from preventable diseases.

Sidai Africa was established in 2011, with the support of the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation and the Farm Africa charity.

“From a standing start, we’ve grown significantly over the past eight years ad now have 11 stores, 87 franchises, and we directly employ over 120 people,” said Dr Christie Peacock, the company’s founder.

“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 to achieve our goals,” she added.

On the Devenish side, its executive vice-chairman, Peter Wallace, said: “We’re thrilled to announce our investment in Sidai. As a business primarily focused on sustainable farming and food production, this new partnership will enable us to make a difference by improving the livelihoods of small-scale farmers across Kenya.”

This investment is part of Devenish’s long-term growth strategy in emerging markets.

His colleague, Devenish’s east Africa director Michael Maguire, 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 experience will help the company grow further and reach even more farmers across Kenya.”

Finally, Nicolas Mounard, CEO of the Farm Africa charity, 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 agri-business; and ultimately more prosperous rural communities.”