Cargill already owned 75% of the Provimi-branded operation, as part of a joint venture with Astral Foods that kicked off in 2012; it has now acquired the remaining 25%.
Guillaume Smeets, managing director, Cargill Animal Nutrition, Middle East and Africa (MEA), said Cargill was committed to developing its business in Sub-Saharan Africa.
“Africa’s population is predicted to more than double by 2050, and protein demand continues to increase in the region. Rapidly growing markets and increasing animal productivity make Africa, including Sub-Saharan Africa, a strategic growth area for Cargill.
“We have already shown our commitment to this region through investing in a new premix and base mix facility in Pietermaritzburg, [in South Africa]. We went to great lengths to bring state-of-the-art technology into this facility, allowing us to take feed, and hence food safety, to the next level.
“We will continue to make investments like this, as well as explore other opportunities, in order to support our customers, grow our workforce and reinforce the growing agricultural sector in the region,” he said.
MEA growth goals
He told FeedNavigator that Cargill’s goal is to “nearly triple our MEA business in the coming years.”
“We have already made several investments to help us achieve this vision, and we will continue to explore opportunities to make our business stronger and more successful in both the short- and long-term.”
He said such investments include the recent establishment of a new Cargill Technology Application Center (TAC) in Izmir in Turkey, aimed at helping dairy and poultry farmers in the Middle East, Turkey and Africa “leverage and apply the best possible feed technologies to grow their businesses.”
“The Izmir TAC was created through a partnership with an existing commercial dairy farm owned by the Egesay Animal Agriculture Food Industry and Trade Company, Ltd. The US$2m project will first concentrate on customized solutions relating to ruminants. A poultry center is scheduled to be constructed and operational by the end of 2017.”
In terms of other strategic acquisitions Cargill has made in the region, Smeets flagged the majority stake it took in Turkish premix and feed additives player, Ekol Gida, in 2015.
In addition, he said, Cargill broke ground on a $37m facility located near Amman, Jordan, nearly a year ago. “The new facility supports our Provimi brand, comprising a premix plant and state-of-the-art laboratories that cater to the nutritional needs of poultry, ruminants and fish, and will conduct vital analyses in animal health and nutrition. This new facility will enable the Jordan business to be recognized as a leader in the region’s fast-growing animal production sector.”
He stressed that Cargill is interested in recruiting staff locally: “We see talent as a key capability to strategically growing our business, and we look forward to building an inclusive and diverse workforce by tapping into the unique cultural, political and economic insights that people from throughout the region can bring to Cargill.”