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Abstract

Mountainside Farms Limited (“MFL”) is one of the largest commercial cereal farming operations in Tanzania. Based on the slopes of Mount Kilimanjaro, MFL owns approximately 9,500 contiguous acres (3,845 ha) of which 6,350 acres is under cultivation between wheat and malting barley, with the remaining land used for sheep rearing, indigenous forest and infrastructure. MFL is a strategic supplier of malting barley to Tanzania Breweries Limited (“TBL”), part of the SABMiller plc group, supplying up to 30% of the brewer’s locally sourced Barley. Started in 2000 by Managing Director Luke Edwards, the key to the company’s success has been its scalable management platform – allowing significant production volume to be achieved in a region where average farm sizes are typically 1-3ha. This management platform is a combination of both commercial production systems (classically seen in developed agricultural markets such as Australia and the US) – allowing external institutional capital to be invested, and of local Tanzanian agricultural practices (a significant employment and training program is undertaken by the company), allowing MFL to operate successfully with local communities and stakeholders. The company is now looking at further investment opportunities to capitalize on the management platform they have built; options considered by the company’s board of directors include diversification on MFL’s land on Kilimanjaro by planting avocados to feed into a local pack-house that exports to supermarkets in Europe and starting an out-grower barley program in other areas of Tanzania also suited to Barley production.

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