Here’s the latest in ESM’s regular series, Notes From Africa, which brings you the latest retail, consumer goods, and food-and-beverage stories from across the African continent. Past editions can be found here.
Ghana: GB Foods Unveils $5 Million Investment in Canned Tomato Production Line
Spanish agribusiness company Gallina Blanca (GB) Foods has recently inaugurated a new canned tomato production line at its processing plant in Tema, Ghana. With an investment of $5 million, this expansion is set to enhance the company's production capacity and product offering in the country. GB Foods is known for its flagship tomato concentrate brands, Gino and Pomo.
In addition to the new production line, the company aims to reduce tomato imports by establishing two factory farms covering a combined area of 5,600 hectares to support its processing plant and meet the growing demand for local tomatoes.
Nigeria: Nigerian Breweries Reports 8% Growth in Net Profit
Nigerian Breweries, a subsidiary of the Heineken Group, has announced an 8% increase in net profit for its 2022 fiscal year, which ended on December 31. The company achieved a net profit of ₦13.9 billion ($30 million), up from ₦12.9 billion ($28.1 million) in the previous year.
Despite a decline in overall beer demand due to rising inflation and reduced consumer purchasing power, Nigerian Breweries saw a remarkable 25% increase in sales, amounting to ₦550 billion ($1.2 billion). The company managed to offset foreign exchange losses caused by currency devaluation and a shortage of dollars, and also benefited from a 63% reduction in taxes compared to the previous year. Nigerian Breweries, founded in 1946, boasts a portfolio of popular brands such as Legend, Gulder, and Star.
Kenya: NCPB Plans New Rice Mill in Kisumu
The National Cereals and Produce Board (NCPB) in Kenya is set to establish a new rice processing unit in Kisumu. This mill, capable of processing 2.5 tonnes of rice paddy per hour, aims to increase domestic milled rice supply. Kenya currently imports over 70% of its rice to meet annual demand, making this new facility a significant step towards reducing reliance on imports.
Ghana: Farmerline Expands into Côte d'Ivoire
Ghanaian agritech start-up Farmerline Limited has officially launched its operations in Côte d'Ivoire as part of its expansion strategy in the West African sub-region, particularly in French-speaking countries. The company aims to support small-scale farmers in Côte d'Ivoire by providing access to international markets for high-quality fertilisers and seeds, as well as offering free training on smart and climate-resilient agricultural practices through its specialised platform, 'Mergdata'.
Since its establishment in 2013, Farmerline has been instrumental in supporting over 1.7 million smallholder farmers through its mobile messaging platform.
Kenya: Victory Farms Secures $35 Million for Expansion
Aquaculture company Victory Farms has successfully raised $35 million to bolster its operations and expand its presence across East Africa, including Kenya, Rwanda, Ethiopia, Uganda, and Tanzania. With the growing demand for fish in the sub-region, Victory Farms plans to increase its production capacity. East African countries currently face a supply deficit, with consumption needs exceeding 1.3 million tonnes per year, according to 2018 FAO data.
Morocco: AMG Packaging to Construct $26 Million Paper Packaging Plant
AMG Packaging, a subsidiary of the Italian group Pro-Gest specializing in food packaging, has commenced the construction of a production unit in the industrial zone of Sidi Bou Othmane in Morocco's Rehamna province. With a total investment of 266 million dirhams ($26 million), the plant's construction is expected to take 12 to 14 months.
This new facility will be the first packaging manufacturing unit of the Italian group outside of Italy. Spanning 10 hectares, the plant will focus on producing paperboard packaging for agricultural products, catering, warehouses, and eco-friendly furniture. The establishment of the new plant aims to create 170 jobs and reduce Morocco's reliance on imported food packaging made from paperboard, which currently amounts to nearly 1.35 billion dirhams ($133 million) annually.