The UK government is to co-invest in a tea plantation in Tanzania to boost the incomes of potentially more than 3,600 farmers.
The Department for International Development (DFID) will provide up to £7.5 million in partnership with Unilever and charities the Wood Family Trust and Gatsby Foundation to create the new plantation, generating a return that can be reinvested.
The initiative is one of four trial partnerships DFID has entered with the private sector and not-for-profit organisations working in Tanzania.
DFID is also investing around £2.5 million in a hydro power plant at a tea factory that will reduce energy costs and improve productivity, up to £3.3 million in a leasing company that provides farming equipment, and around £6.7 million in a large rice producer.
International development secretary Justine Greening said: “For too long the development world has seen the skills and potential of the private sector as something separate to its own efforts. I want to take a different approach.
“The only way for developing countries to end their dependency on aid is to create more jobs, growth and tax receipts. In the end, for individuals too, a job is the only sustainable route out of poverty.
“Business can bring much needed investment and innovation at a scale that can be transformational, providing prospects and economic opportunities for communities. It is sensible for us to work with business to make sure their plans help local communities.”