The Norwegian Investment Fund for Developing Countries (Norfund) announced an investment of 7.4 million USD in Verde Beef Processing PLC (VBP) which is an Ethiopian beef producer. The capital provided by Norfund will help VBP become the largest cattle processing operation in Eastern Africa by enabling the construction of a state of the art abattoir and meat processing facility which is underway and also fund working capital for the business. Managing Director of Norfund Kjell Roland said, “This is our first direct investment in Ethiopia, and Norfund is delighted to contribute to Ethiopia's growth and export through Verde Beef” “This investment is focused on employment creation and export and fits very well with our strategy to contribute to sustainable enterprises and economic development in Africa.” Roland added.

While the Chairman and Co-founder of Verde Beef Processing PLC, Scott Friesen said, “We're excited about the partnership with Norfund which will enable us to provide incomes to thousands more families annually, generate 18 million USD of revenues in 2018, reach an export value of 100 million USD annually by 2021, and further develop the important meat sector in Ethiopia.”

“Verde Beef is a critical project that is aligned with the Ethiopian government's focus on job creation, increasing exports and introducing improvements to the agricultural sector.” The chairman noted.

VBP is an integrated beef producer that undertakes feed production and feedlotting activities.

VBP has a significant cost advantage over its international competition, and is expanding its feedlot operation in Ethiopia to capitalize on this; producing high-quality beef for export and local markets.
According to Market Watch, Ethiopia's geographical positioning combined with its livestock population, the largest in Africa and the fifth largest in the world, positions the country perfectly as a potential provider of meat to the rapidly expanding markets of the Middle East and Northern Africa.

The beef farm is located in the Adami Tulu district of the Oromia regional state, Ziway Ethiopia, close to the new railway line to Djibouti.The company produces premium beef and aims to become the largest cattle processing operation in Eastern Africa with a target output of more than 130,000 carcasses per year.The company has created over 400 jobs directly on the farm with the upgraded skills needed for competing in the global beef market in addition to the 3500 jobs that are created indirectly through local sourcing of calves and feed inputs.As the company expands the job it creates is anticipated to reach 2000 employees and supporting over 50,000 livelihoods when the company reaches full operation.

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