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Fleurette commits further funding for Kitoko Food bringing total investment to $14 million

Published 11 February 2014

The Fleurette Group announces a further financial commitment of $1.5 million for 2014 to Kitoko Food, bringing the total investment made by Fleurette in the project to $14 million since it was established in June 2012.

Kitoko Food is an innovative commercial agricultural project in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), with the ultimate objective of equipping its citizens with the tools and skills needed to increase the country's food security and advance the DRC's agricultural and economic development.

The 1,482-acre Kitoko Food Farm is a commercial farming project which also teaches modern, sustainable farming techniques to local Congolese farmers. The program provides farmers with practical, hands-on training, seeds, farming tools, irrigation systems, fertilizers, and assistance in getting their crops to market. The farm currently employs 107 local Congolese.

Kitoko's aim is to build an agricultural training academy where 120 students a year will be taught the farm's innovative farming and management techniques. After their instruction, it is Kitoko's objective for those students armed with these new skills, to develop new satellite farms modelled on Kitoko that are planned for all of the DRC's 11 provinces, in partnership with provincial governments. These farms are intended to be separate commercial ventures, highlighting that the ultimate objective is to create a long term, sustainable commercial solution to the issue of food security in the DRC. Together, this network of farms will teach future generations of Congolese sustainable techniques that will have a significant impact in helping the country overcome its food deficit and alleviate poverty.

The additional funding commitment will be used to accelerate Kitoko's expansion plans which include the acquisition of additional high end farming equipment, construction of further accommodation and warehousing, combined with bringing a first major harvest to the market.

Dan Gertler, Senior Advisor to the Fleurette Group, said: "Kitoko is a project I am very proud of and I am delighted to confirm further funding for this next 12 months. Kitoko aims to demonstrate that commercial farming is possible in the DRC which continues to import the vast majority of its food. The techniques we are developing and the training we are providing are the only true attempt to help the DRC find a long term solution to the issue of food security. I strongly believe this is the right thing to do - both to demonstrate that large scale commercial farming can be possible in the DRC, but also to provide a training academy which will result in multiple qualified local farmers available to translate the techniques they are learning to manage their own farms on a stand alone commercial basis."

Source: Company Press Release