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. 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.

The Government of Rwanda 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 Joint Venture – 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 $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 helps AIF Rwanda in sourcing raw materials.

WFP purchases the majority of the production output. Meanwhile, the Government of Rwanda also purchases a substantial volume. A smaller part of the plant’s capacity is used to produce commercial products that are be sold via retail outlets in Rwanda, Kenya and Uganda. The remaining production capacity is allocated to the production of fortified blended foods for private companies such as Tropikal Brands which entrusted the production of its commercial product ‘NutriPro’ to us.

The first product left the production line in December 2016. 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-Africa and beyond.

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

Sourcing from local farmers has always 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 hard at work with solutions to empower them and enable them to grow.

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.

Statistics show that an estimated 120,000 children and mothers from vulnerable families consume the “Shisha Kibondo” foods provided by the Government of Rwanda.