Agriterra Ltd is an AIM listed pan-Arican agricultural company with established beef, cocoa trading, maize processing and palm oil operations.
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Agriterra's strategy is to become one of the largest agri-operators and leading food providers in Africa.
The Company is focussed on agricultural investment and sustainable development in Africa, providing high quality produce whilst simultaneously improving the livelihoods of small holder farmers by improving access to markets.
The Company currently has three operational agricultural divisions:
The Company's directors have a wealth of experience operating in Africa, and this experience and the directors' networks of contacts will be fully utilised to fuel the Company's rapid growth.
Mozbife is a vertically integrated cattle ranching and feedlot production business which is developing into a "field to fork" producer, to capture more of the added value available higher up the food chain, benefitting profitability.
The board believes that beef ranching offers a material value opportunity in Africa and its beef business remains an area of significant expansion and investment for the Group. The Company's objective is to build a total herd in excess of 10,000 head by 2015.
Mozbife was established to supply premium beef to both the domestic market in Mozambique as well as for export. Beef consumption in Mozambique has been steadily rising and is forecast to continue to grow in the future as living standards across the country improve. The Company is in the process of building a sizeable herd of pedigree Beefmaster cattle, which has been developed for its high quality meat, top weight gaining ability and suitability to hot climates such as Mozambique.
The Group's strategy is to leverage value from being a vertically integrated producer, supplemented by local purchasing of cattle. Agriterra rear and breed the beef cattle at the Mavonde, Inhazanoia and Dombe ranches, fatten at the Vanduzi feedlot, and slaughter and butcher at the Chimoio Abattoir, which in turn supplies the retail units in Chimoio,Tete, Manica and Beira. This integrated business approach enables the Group to maximise revenues and margins from the entire value chain.
Tropical Farms Ltd
Tropical Farms Limited ('TFL') is a cocoa company based in Sierra Leone.
TFL is establishing itself as a secure, sustainable and traceable source of supply to meet the requirements of the major cocoa consumers. The Company has built a strong platform, operating successful cocoa buying, trading and production divisions, which utilise TFL's regional expertise and established operations in West Africa.
In line with TFL's strategy of intiating large scale commerical cocoa production, the Company holds a 3,200 hectare cocoa plantation located 35km south-east of Kenema, Sierra Leone. The plantation is supported by a 2.2 hectare nursery which, when fully irrigated, will have capacity for up to 1 million cocoa seedlings sourced internally from TFL's trading business.
200 hectares have been cleared and planted at the plantation to date, with seedlings supplied by the nursery. TFL are aiming to plant a further 250 hectares by Q4 2014, with plants in the nursery already established to support this.
Negotiations are also in place to acquire an additional 1,600 hectares of land adjacent to the Plantation. Subject to this acquisition, TFL aim to plant a total of 4,000 hectares by 2017, with the ultimate aim of producing a minimum of 8,000 tonnes of cocoa per annum by 2020 / 2021.
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DECA, based in Chimoio in the Manica Province of Mozambique, was founded in 2005 to treat and process maize.
The Company purchases maize directly from thousands of local smallholder farmers through a specialised, proprietary, buying system, whereby Agriterra provides and installs the necessary infrastructure at specific buying points across the Chimoio region.
Local farmers bring their produce to these designated points and are paid cash directly by DECA, thereby supporting economic activity in the relevant rural areas.
Once the grain is purchased it is transported back to DECA's purpose-built storage and processing facility in Chimoio where it is dried, fumigated, prepared and processed into maize meal, a key staple food in the region and country as a whole. Maize meal, also known as mealie meal, is used extensively in African and Asian cuisines to make various pancakes, flatbreads and porridges and bran/harmony chop products, (effectively the waste product of the processing process) used throughout the region as livestock feed. After processing, the meal is packaged and transported to appropriate venues for onward sale under the DECA brand.
DECA is cash generative, has a strong brand, a loyal customer base and currently provides a market outlet for some 350,000 farmers. DECA's operations, involving the enfranchising of locals rather than major land acquisitions, have received strong support from local and national governments since inception, with the President of Mozambique, Armando Guebuza, opening the facility in 2005. The grain processed by DECA sustains thousands of people in the local province and approximately 15% of DECA's products are sold to the UN World Food Programme.
Compagri was established in May 2009 in Tete, 400km to the north of Chimoio, as a second agricultural buying and processing facility in Mozambique.
As at Chimoio, operations at Tete are focussed on the purchase of maize from indigenous out-growers, which is then processed into corn flour/maize meal, a key African food staple. The current total storage capacity for maize at the facility is 15,000 tonnes.
Tete is rich in natural resources and is currently enjoying a boom in mining activity â€“ over the last decade the majority of the 140 or so exploration licences granted in Mozambique are located in Tete where a number of huge coal discoveries have been made. After years of neglect, the region's limited infrastructure needs updating and improving in order to transport coal and other resources to market. As a result, Tete is experiencing significant inflows of investment and personnel making Compagri well placed to benefit from the increased activity in the region.
DECA's transport division has seen rapid growth of its fleet and facilities and is now running over 80 vehicles, with all maintenance and repair work carried out in-house by a team of locally based mechanics. Although the collection operation is seasonal, it collects enough produce and has the storage space to mill throughout the year, thus stabilising its revenue stream.
Red Bunch Ventures
Agriterra intends to expand its portfolio of agricultural products through the addition of palm oil, through the acquisition of Shawford Investments Inc ('Shawford'), which in turn owns Red Bunch Ventures (SL) Limited ('Red Bunch').
Red Bunch holds a 50 year lease (with an option to renew for a further 21 years) of approximately 45,000 hectares of brownfield agricultural land in an area suitable for palm oil production in the Pujehun District in the Southern Province of Sierra Leone. This area of Sierra Leone, which is close to the Liberian border, receives one the highest levels of rainfall in Sierra Leone, which in itself, receives some of the highest rainfall globally. In addition, the lease area is located on the equatorial belt, which is the most favourable geographical location for palm oil production.
As one of the most important and widely produced edible oils in the world, the addition of a palm oil operation marks an exciting period of growth for the Company, which broadens and complements Agriterra's current agricultural portfolio of cattle ranching, cocoa buying and trading and maize farming and milling operations.
Demand for palm oil is projected to continue to grow, driven by demand in Africa, India, China and the US, making it an important new target of for Agriterra's ambitious investment strategy.
Phil Edmonds, (MA Cantab), Chairman
Mr Edmonds is a director of a number of public and private companies and has considerable experience of introducing African focussed companies to AIM, including African Platinum Plc and Central African Mining & Exploration Company Plc. Mr Edmonds is currently a director of Sable Mining Africa Limited and Africa Oilfield Logistics Limited. He holds an honours degree in land economy from Cambridge University. He was born in Lusaka, Zambia, educated in Zambia and England and played cricket for England and Middlesex from 1974 to 1987.
Andrew Groves, Director
Mr Groves has significant experience in operations management in Southern and Central Africa and is a director of a number of private companies, including companies in Zambia and Zimbabwe. Mr Groves also has experience of introducing several African focussed companies to AIM together with Mr Edmonds. Mr Groves' current directorships include Sable Mining Africa Limited, African Potash Limited and Africa Oilfield Logistics Limited. He was born in Harare, Zimbabwe and educated in Zimbabwe and South Africa.
Daniel Cassiano-Silva, Finance Director
Mr Cassiano-Silva has over 13 years of financial experience and a wealth of operational expertise gained in Mozambique, South Africa and the Democratic Republic of Congo with AIM quoted Paragon Resources PLC, where he held senior positions as Group Controller and Compliance Officer and Chief Financial Officer. During this time he played a pivotal role in implementing Paragonâ€™s business plan both within the administrative and finance functions as well as operational matters. Prior to joining Paragon, Mr Cassiano-Silva worked with Deloitte LLP as a Senior Audit Manager until 2009 and is a chartered accountant.
Euan Kay, Director
Mr Kay has extensive experience in the sub-Saharan agricultural sector, managing the Company's subsidiary DECA since inception in 2005 until 2014. Mr Kay remains a consultant to the Company providing expertise on the Company's operational activities at DECA, Compagri and Mozbife.
Michael Pelham, Director
Mr Pelham is a Zimbabwean national and has worked in various countries across Africa throughout his 18 year career. Before joining White Nile as Operations Manager in 2006, Mr Pelham held the position of Operations Liaison Manager at Ardan Safaris, and whilst in this role built strong significant relationships with local government officials and decision makers across Southern, Central and East Africa.
George Naude, Chief Operating Officer
Mr Naude joined Agriterra from Tongaat Hulett, a leading Southern African focussed agricultural and agri-processing business, where he led the Mozambican operations as Agricultural Manager. During his six year tenure, Mr Naude transformed the operations under his care, which included 10,000ha of irrigated land producing annual yields of up to 600,000 tonnes of cane, maximising efficiencies and implementing policies and procedures to enable further expansion. During his career, Mr Naude has also spent time on agricultural projects in Mauritius, Brazil, Tanzania and Malawi and is fluent in English and Afrikaans and proficient in Portuguese and Sena.
Financial summary: Index AIM ALL
Stock Code: AGTA
Sector: Food Producers
Financial year end: 31 May
Total issued share capital: 1,216,818,478 Ordinary Shares and Deferred Shares (in aggregate)
Total voting capital: 1,061,818,478 Ordinary Shares
In accordance with the AIM Rules (Rule 26), in so far as the Company is aware, the percentage of the Company's issued share capital that is not in public hands is 59.17% There are no restrictions on the transfer of AIM securities
Key Shareholders as at 12/02/2014 which hold more than 3% in the Company:
Information taken from company website 01.07.2014
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