Yield Uganda Investment Fund has committed Shs 1.3bn to Chemiphar (U) Ltd, an internationally-accredited analytical laboratory, to improve the testing and inspection services rendered to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) dealing in agribusiness.
YUIF’s funding comes shortly after another grant of Shs 2.45bn Chemiphar received from the Agricultural Business Initiative (aBi). In fact, Chemiphar becomes YUIF’s third major beneficiary after Sesaco Ltd, a soy-processing company, which was advanced Shs 1.6bn and the Shs 5.14bn Yield Uganda sunk in Central Coffee Farmers Association (Cecofa).
Founded in 2017, the fund is anchored by commitment from the European Union (EU) through the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) as well as the National Social Security Fund Uganda (NSSF).
Chemiphar is an enabler to agri-businesses which are required to meet international standards for both export and local certification of their processed and value added products. Therefore, Yield Fud funding of Chemiphar will be used to boost operations in food and beverages, agro-products, environment, pharmaceutical and cosmetics as well as agricultural seeds.
In essence, Chemiphar essentially acts as the sieve for agri-businesses which are required to meet international standards for both export and local certification of their processed and value-added products.
Annick Uytterhaegen, the founder and CEO of Chemiphar (U) Ltd, welcomed the development: “We are so happy and grateful that the Yield Fund and aBi have considered our request for support. Thanks to these grants and financing; we will be able to bring the company to another level and develop areas of the company that we wanted to improve since a long time but for which we were meeting financial constraints,” she said.
Meanwhile, Attilio Pacifici, the European Union ambassador to Uganda, expressed his delight with the new investment.
“This investment by the Yield Uganda Investment Fund is a practical example of progressive partnerships between Europe and Africa reflecting the new Europe-Africa Alliance for Sustainable Investments and Jobs which aims to promote inclusive growth, job creation and sustainable development in Africa,” he said.
Richard Byarugaba, the NSSF managing director, said: “A total of 3.3 million euros has been committed with 1.7 million euros so far disbursed through the Yield Fund to entities that are focused on value addition within the Ugandan agricultural sector. The investment in Chemiphar was timely because Chemiphar is the only accredited international laboratory in Uganda and as such plays a critical role in clearing agricultural products for exports from Uganda, both to the region and beyond.”
Meanwhile, the Yield Fund is set to have its final launch on June 27 at Sheraton Kampala hotel, to officially announce new investors; Open Society Foundations (OSF) and Finn Church Aid Investments (FCA Investments).