VBP receives $7.4m investment from Norfund


Ethiopian beef producer Verde Beef Processing (VBP) has received a $7.4m investment from the Norwegian Investment Fund for Developing Countries (Norfund).

The investment will be used by VBP to build an abattoir and meat processing facility, as well as fund working capital for the business.

Upon completion of the facility, VBP is expected to become the largest cattle processing company the Eastern Africa.

VBP chairman and co-founder Scott Friesen said: "Verde Beef is a critical project that is aligned with the Ethiopian Government's focus on job creation, increasing exports and introducing improvements to the agricultural sector."

Norfund will be working along with UK-based pan-African private equity fund 8 Miles, who initially invested in VBP in November 2015.

VBP has been engaged in feed production and feedlotting activities.

The company intends to strengthen its cattle processing operation in Eastern Africa with an annual target output of more than 130,000 carcasses.

VBP is also planning to expand its feedlot operations in Ethiopia, and produce beef for local and export markets.

"Verde Beef is a critical project that is aligned with the Ethiopian Government's focus on job creation, increasing exports and introducing improvements to the agricultural sector."

In terms of livestock population, Ethiopia is reported to be the largest in Africa and fifth largest in the world, and makes this country most favourable for meat exports to the expanding markets of the Middle East and Northern Africa (MENA).

VBP’s beef farm is located in the Adami Tulu district of the Oromia regional state, Ziway Ethiopia, near the new railway line to Djibouti.

The beef processor is reported to have played a key role in the agricultural transformation in Ethiopia, and has been active in the development of the community in the region by purchasing bull calves and inputs for feed.

The company claims that it has created nearly 400 jobs directly on the farm with the upgraded skills needed for competing in the global beef market, and 3,500 indirect jobs have also been created through local sourcing of calves and feed inputs.

With the construction of the new processing facility, the company anticipates that its workforce would reach 2,000 employees and support more than 50,000 livelihoods when the company reaches full operation.


Image:Slices of beef. Photo: courtesy of akiraone via freedigitalphotos.net.