Agri-Vie is initially focusing on South Africa and neighboring states; on Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda in East Africa; and Ghana and Nigeria in West Africa -- although the fund hopes to move into French-speaking Africa later. Potential projects in West Africa included the tropical crop cassava, grown for its energy-rich roots and protein-rich leaves, and pineapple juice manufacturing.
Agri-Vie has raised around half its target capital of $100 million, and hopes to announce its first investments in the coming months. The fund has a projected 10-year lifespan. Agri-Vie's investors include state-owned entities like South Africa's Development Bank of Southern Africa and Industrial Development Corp, and private entities like the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, started in 1930 by the breakfast cereal pioneer.
Reuters 10/09 New fund seeks profits from Africa farming