The West African impact investment fund Injaro, through its Ghanaian subsidiary, signed a $3.5 million investment agreement with a Ghanaian producer and exporter of pineapple and other fruits. Banyan Global, through its work on the United States Agency for International Development-funded West Africa Trade and Investment Hub, helped make this investment possible by funding part of Injaro’s business development support (BDS) to the company in the period leading to the investment.
As Banyan Global’s senior investment specialist Jean-Francois Guay said, “This BDS approach is a new aspect of the trade hub’s work to promote investment. We are helping high-potential enterprises get access to finance and investment capital through an arrangement with key partner financial institutions, such as Injaro. In this case, our funding allowed Injaro to work more closely with the pineapple company. In general, our support increases the likelihood of these types of deal and helps it happen more quickly.”
Injaro’s investment officer noted:
“One of the major challenges facing investors targeting smaller investment sizes is the cost of pre-investment due diligence or investment preparedness relative to the size of the investment. In the case of Gold Coast Fruits, it was critical to be assured that the fertilizer-application equipment could deliver on the planned growth trajectory of the farm. Trade-hub support enabled us to bring in an external expert to fix the equipment, train in-house staff, and identify appropriate spare-part stocking levels prior to disbursing our investment. This ability to reduce operational risk is catalytic. We look forward to continued collaboration with trade hub as we expand our reach in West Africa.”
Injaro’s investment will help Gold Coast Fruits pursue its goal of expanding production by 400 percent in the next five years. Although there is a high demand for its products, such a rapid expansion will require a major increase in working capital and acquisition of boom spraying equipment. As the chairman of Gold Coast Fruits noted, “We have been unable to expand production over the past couple of years due to our limited financial capacity. With Injaro’s investment, we expect to multiply production, significantly improve profitability, and restart our smallholder outgrower programme. By supplying both equity and debt financing, Injaro provides an effective financing structure that will put the company on solid footing to become a pivotal player in the fresh fruit export sector in Ghana.”