Sahel Capital, fund managers for the Fund for Agricultural Finance in Nigeria (“FAFIN”), and Coscharis Group, a Nigerian Conglomerate with interests across several sectors of the Nigerian economy, are pleased to announce that definitive agreements have been executed for an investment in Coscharis Farms Limited, a subsidiary of Coscharis Group.
Coscharis Farms is an integrated rice processor that started operations in 2014 to meet part of the estimated 5.9 million MT annual rice demand in Nigeria. Coscharis Farms currently has 2,500ha of land for rice cultivation, and is in the process of installing a 40,000 MT per year rice mill and an irrigation system on its farm to enable multi‐cycle rice cultivation.
Both are expected to be completed by 4Q18. Coscharis Farms also plans to incorporate a robust farmer out‐grower development programme within Ayamelum, Anambra State, and neighbouring communities to reach 2,000 farmers that could provide rice paddy to its mill when completed.
Coscharis Farms has benefited from Anambra State’s drive to emerge as a leading hub for agribusiness in Nigeria, and in particular the state’s focus on critical road infrastructure and the creation of an enabling environment for businesses to function. The Company plans to continue to take advantage of the various initiatives offered by the state while implementing its expansion plans.
Commenting on the investment, Dr. Cosmas Maduka, President/CEO of Coscharis Group and Chairman of Coscharis Farms said, “We are excited to welcome Sahel Capital and FAFIN into our fold. We have set out to build a company that is not only an industry leader, but one that will also provide economic opportunities for smallholder farmers and young people in Anambra State. The Sahel Capital team have already demonstrated their ability to add value to our operations over the past 12 months, and we look forward to their support as we continue to expand our operations.”
Also commenting on the investment, Mr. Mezuo Nwuneli, Managing Partner at Sahel Capital, said, “The investment in Coscharis Farms allows us to invest in an integrated rice platform which can be scaled up to meet the staple food requirements of Nigerians. FAFIN’s investment will provide the Company with the resources it needs to invest in critical infrastructure for both its farming and milling operations as it further expands over the next two years. We are delighted to partner with Dr. Cosmas Maduka and Coscharis Group, proven business operators, as well as the management team of Coscharis Farms who have laid the groundwork for the Company’s significant progress till date.”
“FAFIN’s investment has come at a time when we are ready to scale up our operations quite significantly,” said Mr. Godwin Umeaka, Managing Director for Coscharis Farms. “We look forward to the strategic and operational support that they will provide to the management team as we work to execute on our business plan for Coscharis Farms.”
With the investment in Coscharis Farms, the Board of Directors is being reconstituted to include two independent directors: HRM Igwe Nnaemeka Alfred Achebe, Agbogidi, the Obi of Onitsha, and Dr. Kanayo Nwanze, the immediate former President of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD). As independent directors they will provide leadership and board‐level oversight to steer the Company towards achieving its vision and objectives. Mr. Mezuo Nwuneli will also join the Board, along with a second Sahel Capital representative; and Dr. Cosmas Maduka (Chairman of the Board), Mrs. Charity Maduka, and Dr. Okey Nwuke would represent Coscharis Group on the board. Mr. Godwin Umeaka, the Managing Director, and Mr. Rotimi Alashe who recently joined the company as Chief Financial Officer will also be Executive Directors on the Board.