The Frito-Lay and Walkers Crisps maker has acquired a majority shareholding of Senselet Food Processing, an Ethiopian potato crisps company founded by Veris Investments in 2015.
Veris claims Senselet has a leading market position in Ethiopia with its Sun Chips brand, which uses locally-sourced potatoes. The Netherlands-based private equity firm says it set up Senselet to contribute to the development of the potato value chain in Ethiopia.
According to Veris, Ethiopia has substantial potential for growing potatoes, but this has been largely untapped. More than one million farmers grow potatoes in Ethiopia, but yields are estimated around 20% of the potential, due to a shortage of high quality seed varieties, seed producers, technology, logistics, storage, potato knowledge and processing capacity.
In the past three years, Senselet has collaborated with organisations like the Netherlands Enterpise Agency, Ethiopian Institute of Agricultural Research (EIAR) and Wageningen University to facilitate farmer training programmes and establish partnerships with local farmers.