Frequently Asked Questions

AIF is a joint venture between the Dutch Multinational DSM (the largest producer of vitamins globally), the International Finance Corporation (IFC is part of the World Bank), FMO, (the Dutch development bank), CDC, (the Development Finance Institution of the UK Government’s Department for International Development) and the Government of Rwanda. The objective of this joint venture is to create a sustainable solution to fight malnutrition in Rwanda.

Africa Improved Foods was created in response to an invitation from the Rwandan Government and CHAI (Clinton Health Access Initiative). The focus of the initiative is to help people - vulnerable populations (particularly pregnant and breast-feeding mothers, older infants and young children) maximize health and growth, and therefore, their future potential through improved nutrition with affordable, high quality, locally sourced foods.

GoR has played a critical role in facilitating the set-up of the joint venture in Rwanda. In the newly formed company Africa Improved Foods– registered by DSM on behalf of the JV – the Government will own a small equity share, but it will not participate in day-to-day business decisions.  Government has also guaranteed an output market for the fortified foods which is a key success factor for the venture.

The Government is represented by the Ministry of Agriculture, facilitating the availability of raw materials. The Ministry of Finance is supporting all monetary matters.

The investment in building the plant is around $ 45 million. If we add all working capital to that, the total investment comes close to $ 60 million.

The land, the off-take contract to supply the fortified blended foods (FBF) and tax exemptions. In addition, the Ministry of Agriculture and Animal Husbandry help AIF Rwanda to source raw materials.

The WFP will purchase the majority of the production output. Meanwhile, the Government of Rwanda will also purchase a substantial volume. A smaller part of the plant’s capacity will be used to produce commercial products that will be sold via retail outlets in East Africa. The remaining production capacity will be allocated to the production of fortified blended foods for NGO’s, other Governmental programs or private labels.

The first product left the production line in December 2016 and meanwhile, more products have been produced. The plant is entirely set up and operated in line with European quality criteria and has quality systems such as GMP (good manufacturing practices) and HACCP (hazard analysis critical control point) in place. A plant of such size and quality is unique in Rwanda, East-African and beyond.

The plant has an annual capacity of 45,000 tons.

In 2017 we expect to reach a production output of at least 35,000 tons.

In order to reach the 2017 production targets we will need to buy approximately 23,000 tons of maize and 7,000 tons of soya.

Sourcing from local farmers always has been a key element of the enterprise. At this moment, Rwandan farmers can unfortunately not satisfy the need of the factory. Together with our partners we are working hard to find a solution, as our objective to source locally has not changed.

Fortified foods are foods that are enriched with essential vitamins and minerals, customized to the target group.

The first 1000 days of life represent the period from conception up to the age 24 months. It is widely proven and acknowledged that offering the right nutrition during this window is essential for a child’s healthy growth and development.

AIF finds it important that all children get the opportunity to develop to their full potential. The right food gives children this potential. As a fortified food company, AIF aims to prevent stunting and achieve adequate nutrition for all.

Firstly, maize and soya is sourced from over 7000 local farming cooperatives providing farmers with a stable and guaranteed income, thereby improving their and their families’ livelihoods. Secondly, the joint venture investment will create around 230 direct jobs in Rwanda. On top of this, it will stimulate broader private sector development, especially in service industries at and around the plant. Thirdly, plant employees will be given training and development opportunities contributing to their career development.

Government officials expect that an estimated 120,000 children and mothers from vulnerable families will start consuming the free nutritious foods provided by the Government. Many more will be able to benefit from products sold via commercial outlets in Rwanda.

The Government of Rwanda’s Ministry of Health carries out regular health checks on its people to track developmental progress short term.  In the long term, CHAI will work with local partners on behalf of the government on implementation studies assessing the effectiveness of the program.

AIF will produce the infant cereal-based food ‘SUPER CEREAL Plus’ for the WFP. The WFP will distribute SC+ among beneficiaries aged 6-24 months throughout its African operations.
A similar product will be developed for the Government, who will give it to beneficiaries under the name Shisha Kibondo; on top of the infant product, Government will also hand out a maternal product, targeting pregnant and breastfeeding women. Both products come under the name Shisha Kibondo.
For the commercial market in Rwanda and beyond, AIF will produce its branded Nootri-range, comprising both an infant (Nootri Toto) and a maternal (Nootri Mama) cereal based food. These products will be sold via food retailers in Rwanda and other East-African countries.