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September 22, 2008

UK-based financier to raise capital for Africa Agriculture Fund in Middle East

Cru Investment Management, a UK-based $800 million absolute return investment company, has unveiled its plans to offer its new Africa Agriculture Fund in the Middle East early next year.

This fund will invest in commercial agriculture in Sub-Saharan Africa, with the aim of helping to alleviate poverty in the region, while not compromising returns for investors.

Cru, which has significant exposure in commercial agriculture in Malawi with over 2,500 hectares of land under its own control and another 4,000 hectares in outgrower schemes, said its Fund would offer investors a unique opportunity to be part of a philanthropic gesture of helping the vulnerable communities of Africa ravaged by poverty as well as earn excellent ROI in the range of 30 to 40 per cent per annum.

Cru Investment Management chairman Jon Maguire said: "Our decision to make the new fund Sharia-compliant will mean that Gulf investors, well-known for their philanthropic initiatives world over, would be participating in community initiatives to generate employment for the poor in Africa and enable them to help themselves out of poverty," he said.

Cru Investment Management has already successfully piloted a scheme in Malawi and launched a fund called Africa Invest on the back of that success. According to the company's estimates, the funds it has raised through its Africa Invest Fund and the Africa Invest Capital Protected Plan for Malawi have generated jobs for over 2,000 people and helped 8,000 families take part in out grower schemes.

Cru also aims to establish food processing plants next to the farms and put in irrigation systems in order to increase crop yields. This strategy captures more of the value chain and allows farmers to see more profits from their labour.

Gulf Daily News

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