TANZANIA – Dutch DOB Equity, a family-backed impact investment firm has invested in Natural Extracts Industries (NEI), a natural vanilla flavour manufacturer, based in Moshi, Tanzania.

NEI sources green vanilla pods from small-holder farmers in Tanzania and skilfully manufactures them into unique premium quality vanilla products.

The investment by DOB Equity will facilitate the growth of NEI’s small-holder farmer network.

It will also help diversify the company’s sourcing capacity, as well as expanding processing capability.

In addition to that it aims to increase the overall participation of Tanzania and the broader East African region in the premium quality natural flavour space.

Since its inception in 2011, NEI has partnered with the farmers by encouraging them to grow vanilla next to their existing crops, thereby providing extra income.

The flavour manufacturer, provides training in good agricultural practices for over 5,000 farmers across five regions in Tanzania in vanilla husbandry (following organic principles) and traceability. As a result, farmers have earned up to 50 per cent additional income from vanilla farming.

Lauding the investment, Juan Guardado, Founder and CEO of NEI said, “DOB Equity is a great addition to our already strong group of shareholders.”

“NEI has been growing from strength to strength and we trust that partnering with DOB Equity will help NEI to further boost Tanzania’s potential in the global market for natural flavours.’’

According to, AcccBrigit van Dijk – van de Reijt, CEO of DOB Equity, “NEI is one of the most advanced regional processors and extractors of locally grown high-end crops such as vanilla.”

“Through its diversified sourcing platform, it can create substantial socio-economic impact for thousands of farmers in Tanzania and positively contribute to influence environmental sustainability.”

Vera Wachira, Investment Associate of DOB Equity, says: “We are excited to invest in NEI and support this sustainable agri-venture.”

“NEI has a great team of industry experts, agronomists and fieldworkers, with strong values on improving the socio-economic strength of the community and conserving the environment.”

Recently DOB Equity, added local agro firm Cropnuts to its Kenyan portfolio in partnership with AHL Ventures after the Competition Authority of Kenya (CAK) gave a nod to the joint – acquisition.