Social impact investor AgDevCo is backing Uzima Chicken, a Rwandan poultry business with $3 million of debt. The capital will be used to expand Uzima’s capacity to produce between 8 million to 10 million birds per year.
Uzima produces day-old SASSO dual breed chicks on premises in Kigali which are sold through a network of independent distributors to smallholder farmers throughout Rwanda. After acquiring the young birds, the distributors rear the birds for four weeks, using proper feeding and vaccination techniques, before selling them to distributors. The breed, which is ideally suited for rearing outdoors in backyard conditions, gains weight more quickly than local chickens and is three to four times more productive as an egg layer.
“We are delighted that AgDevCo Rwanda is making this investment in Uzima,” said Joseph Shields, Uzima’s Co-Founder. “It is always a challenge fundraising for early-stage growth capital. AgDevCo’s technical support will be of great benefit over and above the investment itself. We are now able to focus our efforts on delivering our business plan, secure in the knowledge that we are fully financed.”
Uzima has already created over 150 jobs, 40% of these being women, and will provide opportunities for up to 500 distributors to build profitable small businesses. The company estimates that within five years 1,000,000 smallholder farmers in the region will benefit by earning up to $30 to $50 per household from egg and meat production.