The formal appointment of Phatisa as Fund Manager in July 2009 launched the African Agriculture Fund (AAF) into the market. A coordinated response from a pool of European and African development finance institutions, this private equity fund is powerful and sizeable enough to make a positive impact on African agriculture and food production, through a truly pan-African investment approach in response to the continent’s food security.

The Fund reached final close at US$ 151 million in November 2010, operations commenced in January 2011 and within six months the team set the investment pace by concluding the AAF’s first investment in Sierra Leone, West Africa.

The Phatisa fundraising team, led by Joint Managing Partner, Stuart Bradley, pulled out all the stops to conclude final close in mid 2013 at
US$ 246 million, backed by an impressive pool of multinational limited partners.


The Technical Assistance Facility (TAF) is a grant-based facility that supports capacity building for small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) invested in by the AAF and its SME sub-fund the AAF SME Fund, aiming to improve linkages between outgrowers, smallholders and the AAF portfolio companies, enhancing rural financing opportunities in communities where the AAF invests. Ultimately, the project’s sponsors hope to increase local household incomes and food security, laying the foundation for sustainable long-term growth for both our portfolio partner and the community it benefits.

The AAF’s TAF is funded primarily by the European Commission (EU) and managed by the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD). It is co-sponsored by the Italian Development Cooperation, United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO), the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) and implemented by TechnoServe.


The AAF targets three subsectors of food and agriculture: primary, secondary and tertiary (services and infrastructure):

  • Primary agriculture encompasses arable land development, cereals and staples, dairy and livestock farming, aquaculture, fruit and vegetables, ranching, plantations and edible oils; especially produce for local consumption.
  • Secondary agriculture includes maize and wheat milling, soya processing, sugar milling and refining, production of animal feeds, beverages and branded foods as well as packaging.
  • Tertiary agriculture extends to services and infrastructure including logistics, storage, seeds, subcontracting, physical inputs, crop protection, input financing and fertiliser.

Phatisa will invest in transactions such as:

  • management buy-outs and buy-ins;
  • acquisitions;
  • expansions;
  • early-stage equity (minority/majority); and
  • outgrower and smallholder developments.

We seek to invest in companies that satisfy the following criteria:

  • a  minimum investment requirement of US$ 5 million and maximum US$ 24 million from AAF;
  • an experienced management team with a compelling vision for the business and a willingness to collaborate with a financial investor;
  • a proven financial and operational track records and potential for future growth;
  • a commitment to transparency and proven sustainable industry-competitive advantages;
  • realistic valuation; and
  • an ability to achieve a profitable liquidity event in the medium term.

Potential transactions are also assessed on the level of appropriate local partners and smallholder participation brought on board to stimulate local economical development.

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If you or your company have a business venture that meets the AAF investment criteria, please complete and submit the one-page AAF Funding Application Form, available in either MSWord or PDF format, to the AAF deal team. Please submit information on core business activities, investment required (US$ equivalent), purpose of funding and contact details. Our Phatisa agri deal team look forward to considering your proposal and will be in contact in due course.

Frequently asked questions