[Sierra Leone] Government picks Agrotop for $60m chicken project
The government of Sierra Leone has chosen Agrotop, a global player in livestock turnkey projects, and Integrated Solutions Africa (ISA) Group, which specializes in financial solutions and implementation of complex projects in Africa, to construct a large-scale layer and pullets farm at an investment of $60 million.
Agrotop and ISA will jointly build the new farm in the Tima and Njala areas of the Kiri Chiefdom, Moyaamba district. The farm will be comprised of 10,000 acres and will produce 195 million eggs a year.
The project is supported by Sierra Leone President Julius Maada Bio, and is part of the government's initiative to encourage the agriculture sector to increase local food growth and lower imports.
"Our vision is to build one of Western Africa's largest poultry projects which will help us in our efforts to improve nutrition, create new jobs and increase reliance on local production," said Josph Jonathan, Sierra Leone minister of Agriculture and Forestry. "We are happy to cooperate with leading companies such as Agrotop and ISA to build a model project that will improve overall welfare."
Deputy Minister of Finance Patricia N. Laverley added, "We view this as a very important project on a national level. "We are fully committed to its success and will provide all the required financial guarantees."
The project, which is expected to grow 720,000 birds per year, is comprised of six-layer houses, two pullet houses, an egg-packing center, feed mill and field crop. The farm is expected to create 2,000 new jobs. As part of the agreement, Agrotop and ISA will also build a community medical center, a school and a water purification system which will provide clean water to 25,000 citizens.
The new farm will be constructed within two years, and Agrotop and ISA will continue to provide management and know-how transfer services for ten years.
"We are happy to partner with the new government in realizing the vision of building one of the most advanced poultry farms in Africa," said Raphael Israel, ISA group president. "Our partnership brings together years-long experience and excellent relations with both government and local community. By joining forces with an experienced and reliable company such as Agrotop, ISA is well positioned to successfully complete this project," he continued.
"Sierra Leona has the ideal conditions for large-scale farming projects and I am sure that the farm will serve as a model for future projects in Sierra Leona and neighboring countries."
The farm will supply the entire needs of Sierra Leone's population for accessible and low-cost protein and will export eggs to nearby countries.
According to a report published in 2016 by Sierra Leone Opportunities for Business Action (SOBA), the country imports 168 million eggs a year and only about 10 percent of total local egg consumption is currently supplied by domestic poultry production.
"We are thankful to the local government for trusting us with such a project, which illustrates Agrotop's ability to provide a wide range of livestock turnkey solutions," said Gavriel Pelleg, Agrotop's CMO and founding partner. "We take great pride in the fact that we have taken full responsibility for this project, from drafting the business plan and raising the capital, to the realization of this ambitious plan which will further strengthen Agrotop's position in the fast-developing African poultry market."
Agrotop has arranged the financing of the project by Israeli bank, which is backed by ASHRA The Israel Foreign Trade Risk Insurance Corp.