by Russel A
Twiga Foods is arguably among the leading fresh fruit and vegetable tech-driven distribution companies in Kenya. The venture-backed agri-tech startup is working hard to organize informal retail across the country through the adoption of technology. Sealing a Ksh 3.2 billion loan (US$30 million) from the International Finance Corporation (IFC) alongside other tier-1 Kenyan banks is proof of the strong confidence of financial lenders in their long-term business prospects.
Twiga foods started in 2014 by co-founders Njonjo and Grant Brooke who have overseen the astronomical rise of the brand. The Nairobi-based company has plans of expanding into other cities throughout Kenya such as Mombasa.
Of the amount IFC will contribute is Ksh 1.6 billion (US$15M) while the rest will be channeled through unfunded Risk Sharing Facilities (RSFs) which will be scaled in phases. KCB Bank Kenya Limited will implement the first phase.
The loan will be channeled to support 300 irrigated medium-scale farmers on contract. This is according to a statement issued on IFC’s website. Currently, Twiga buys seasonal farm produce from 19,500 smallholder farmers across the country. The funding will ensure several medium-scale farms can provide a year-round supply of vegetables and fruits ensuring food availability and affordability all year round.
IFC has also committed to providing technical and organizational support services that cover the technical and organizational support for agronomists and farm managers.