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Cru fund to fight African poverty

Cru Investments is to launch an African agriculture fund in the first quarter of 2009.

The fund will be an open-ended, daily-dealt Oeic backed by the Commonwealth Business Council. It will be managed by the former agricultural fund management team of the CDC, now called Phatisa.

Cru is signing up 12 sub-Saharan African governments to form a partnership with the firm and is looking to remove the need for these countries to import food by growing their own. Chairman Jon Maguire says that the fund will be seeded with £20m at launch. He says: “I believe it will be one of the biggest and one of the most exciting funds ever because of its impact on the world.

“What we are doing is adding up the cost of importing staples to sub-Saharan African countries and then working out how much money is needed to develop their agricultural base to the point they do not need to import food as the oil price is inflating it.

“It will be well north of £5bn and in a world where people are spending 10 times that amount on war in Afghanistan, we believe the market is there to help tackle poverty in Africa.”

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