MADAGASCAR – Malakass, a newly established cassava processing company in Madagascar, has sold its minority stake to impact investment vehicle Miarakap, for an undisclosed amount of investment.
The equity investment will be channelled towards running operations at Malakass’ factory, structure its supply network and obtain the necessary certifications for export.
Also, it will aid in the implementation of commercial and communication actions that will allow the brand to be widely distributed in Madagascar.
Founded in 2021 by Houssen Mebobaly, the agro-processing company has set itself the mission of contributing to the development of the cassava farming sector in the region.
To this end, the Malagasy company has undertaken the installation of a factory that is fully compliant with standards, enabling the transformation of the “white gold of the South” into high quality flour, certified organic and fair trade for both the local and international markets.
In particular, Malakass eyes the European countries who are major importers of this high value-added product used in bakery and pastry, both by craftsmen and industrialists.
Houssen attributed this high demand to consumers’ high appetite for exotic, authentic and organic products, not to mention the great trend of gluten-free diets.
“Coming back to Madagascar in 2019 to undertake my business after a dozen years in France for my studies and the beginning of my career in the banking sector, I was struck by the undervalued potential of the cassava sector in my native region.
“I was sorry to see cassava dried on the side of the road, and bought at low prices only by collectors, without any concern for the valorisation of the product. So, I decided to add value by transforming it into high quality flour,” said Houssen.
The Malakass factory is ideally located near its network of cassava producers, having a total production capacity of 1,000 tons per year.
It will be served by a network of more than 200 farmers, many of whom will be grouped together in the “KAM” cooperative, founded by Malakass and headed by Ms. Pélagie, a young farmer with a solid presence in the region.
Convinced by this ambitious project, the skills, the openness and the strong vision of the promoter, Miarakap decided to invest in Malakass, for a minority shareholding in the budding company.
“We started discussing with Houssen more than 2 years ago, but at that time the project was not mature enough. Houssen then impressed us with his determination, his personal risk-taking and his ability to build a solid project by being open to our recommendations.
“He succeeded almost single-handedly in setting up his factory, and we are now intervening to give greater scope to the project, to help him in the implementation of his commercial strategy, particularly in export markets where the markets are very large and growing rapidly,” said Emmanuel Cotsoyannis, Directeur Général de Miarakap.