The company was founded in 2003 with initial investments from Farmers Associations. There are also investments by ethical investors (GAPI – a Mozambique public/private financial institution and Oxfam Novib – Netherlands). IKURU currently has in excess of 22,000 Farmer shareholders grouped in 29 Farmers Associations in the North of Mozambique. Around 40% of the Farmer shareholders are women.
The company is now the most successful farmer-owned business in Mozambique. The volume of total crops marketed has increased from 300 metric tons per year in 2004 to 2,250 metric tons per year in 2009, an impressive figure representing annual growth of around per year 50%. This represents a substantial increase in income to producers, contributing to improved livelihoods and enabling farmers for the first time to exert local control over their marketing options.
The activities of IKURU range from research through agricultural development and production to processing and export. IKURU recognizes the role of quality seeds and suitable technology for increase in the quantity and quality of production; works with International Partners on Agricultural Development, with its shareholders and producers; plays a major role in purchasing, processing, packing and exporting agricultural products from its shareholders; carries out toll processing of its other crops prior to local sale or export; has a Quality Control Laboratory for on site verification of quality standards; is an experienced exporter to European and Southern African Markets.
Originally Published 2012-03-12