In March 2009, SEAF’s Georgia Regional Development Fund made a participatory loan and equity investment in Madai, a Black Sea anchovy fishing company in the Republic of Georgia. The financing was used to purchase a fishing ship, two transport ships, distribution trucks and land in the Poti region for the relocation of the company’s processing facility. In addition, SEAF recruited outside experts to advise the company in the selection of quality boats and the identification of attractive land purchase opportunities for the processing facility.
Revitalizing Georgia’s Domestic Fishing Industry
Madai’s purchase of the new ships made it the first Georgian company in recent history to utilize its fishing license rather than leasing it out to foreign fishing companies. With the financial help from SEAF, Madai plans to grow its own fleet, modernize its processing capacity and train an entirely Georgian crew by 2012. For Georgia, the investment represents the first major effort to revitalize the country’s domestic fishing industry, the importance of which was marked by the President of Georgia’s participation at Madai’s ship unveiling ceremony. This celebration was particularly significant for Georgians as it took place in the wake of the August 2008 military conflict with Russia and the international recession, both of which considerably slowed the local economy.
Benefits to the Local Community
In addition to reinvigorating the country’s lost fishing industry, Madai’s growth will have a direct positive impact on employment in Georgia. Madai is actively training Georgian fishing crews and doubling its workforce to over 100 employees in 2010. The improved efficiency of Madai’s locally run business not only benefits employees, but also Georgian customers. As an example, Dogan, a Georgian animal feed producer and a SEAF investee, will be able to use Georgian-made fishmeal in their products at better pricing and better quality, rather than supplementing with imported meal.