Strategies for agricultural businesses in Mozambique

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Client Aquifer
Dates 2009
Service(s)Strategy & Finance

Between January and April 2009, CEPA was commissioned by Aquifer (an investment company owned by the Sainsbury family) to conduct two separate projects in Mozambique:

  • First, to review and lead the development of a three-year operational and financing plan for Vandúzi – a commercial horticulture and outgrower production business in Manica Province, Mozambique.
  • Second, to lead a strategic review of Mocfer Industrias Alimentares (MIA) – a rice research, production and processing business in southern Mozambique.

The first project involved a full assessment of Vandúzi’s existing business plan in the context of the international horticultural value-chain; and the development of a detailed scenario model of Vandúzi’s gross contribution by product in different market circumstances (e.g. variations in throughput, logistical costs, sales price, exchanges rates). In order to assess fruit and vegetable sales opportunities across several markets, our team conducted consultations with farm managers and investor representatives on-site, as well as liaised with importers and buyers in international and regional markets. In addition, we considered opportunities for third-party sourcing from outgrower programmes and producers’ associations. Two principal outputs emerging from this work were a three-year financial model and final report outlining a profitable strategy for the medium- and long-term.

For the second piece of work, we reviewed the financial and supply structures and services of MIA. Despite being a new business at the time, MIA was an efficient producer of rice and other irrigated crops, and had a strategy of achieving high returns through scale and agreements with out-growers and producers’ associations. A project task was to map and model the development of MIA’s business operations and the rice value-chain, while paying particular attention to the cost and price structures involved with third-party supply, the provision of financial and other services, and the undertaking of rice research. As part of the project work, our team also conducted consultations with a variety of sector stakeholders in order to inform the business model and strategy going forward.