African investor and product developer AgDevCo has invested in Tradin Organic to source organic cocoa directly from certified small-holder farmers in Sierra Leone, linking them to manufacturers in Europe, the U.S. and Asia.
AgDevCo's $3 million revolving facility will allow Tradin to purchase cocoa at premium prices from up to 20,000 certified farmers.
Tradin began operations in the Kenema region of Sierra Leone in 2017, successfully developing a network of trained buying agents and ensuring each bag of cocoa was traceable directly to the farmer.
This is AgDevCo's first investment in Sierra Leone. It will benefit a region that was severely affected by the 2014 Ebola outbreak. The crisis caused international cocoa companies to halt buying operations, leaving cocoa farmers with limited access to the world market.
With AgDevCo support, Tradin will also develop a network of farmer field schools to lift productivity by providing education on improved harvesting and fermenting techniques.
Through this investment, Tradin and AgDevCo hope to revitalize the cocoa sector in Sierra Leone where, despite enormous potential, cocoa export volumes have remained stagnant over the past decade.
AgDevCo is an impact investor specialising in agribusiness investments in Sub-Sahara Africa. The company's portfolio includes more than 50 investments in production, processing and distribution. AgDevCo is headquartered in London with representative offices in eight African countries.