More and more investors worldwide are interested in acquiring agricultural assets such as farmland. Essential for the investor is of course the performance in terms of productivity of the operations, to improve profitability. The selection and installation of a skilled operator on such farms and facilitating the finance for its development secures the generation of profits.
The demand for fresh milk in mostly all developing countries encourages investment in dairy farming. Where in African countries the land tenure often takes the form of a lease, investors co-invest into the farming operations as well as being the leaseholder. For dairy farming as a complex and holistic agricultural system, know-how and specific expertise is key to the success of such investments. Bles Dairies is the technical partner for investors to provide all that essential know-how necessary throughout the process. Starting with due diligence, Bles Dairies can provide its expertise in for example land selection, supervision services, farm management and training of the staff. All in close cooperation with the operators and investors.
UFF African Agri Asset Management, the investors division dedicated to investments in the primary agricultural sector of the Old Mutual Group, manages several funds from where they finance amongst other dairy projects in Africa. For those dairy projects, Bles Dairies is their technical partner. With our knowledge from feed production to optimization of dairy farming processes, we contribute in the development of projects of UFF. Depending on the type and needs of each project, its stage of development and the region, our involvement varies. In West Africa we are involved in the technical due diligence of land acquisition with our expertise in soil analysis for its potential for feed production. In North Africa, we are jointly exploring the opportunities of involvement in a large dairy farming project whereas in Southern Africa we advise a currently managed dairy farm with the aim to expand its dairy herd.
Bles Dairies is flexible in its contribution to such projects, but always available to add value. In a larger perspective, Bles Dairies contributes to the global concern about food safety and food security. Food production is necessary to meet this demand and thus commercial agri investments are most important. The cost of land in Africa is significantly lower than in other continents and there is an abundance of fertile soil with a wide range of climates for agricultural diversity. Africa is not only the second largest continent; it also has a fast-growing economy and is positioned to become a global player when it comes to investment. Investment in Africa goes hand in hand with social upliftment and creating opportunities for the people of the continent.