Norfund’s investment in Matanuska was one of Norfund’s first large-scale agriculture investments in Africa. Matanuska is a greenfield banana plantation in northern Mozambique that aims to plant 3000 Ha of quality-bananas for export and for domestic consumption. Norfund’s investment aimed to contribute to development through efficient, large-scale production, by creating employment and economic activity in the region and by generating much needed foreign currency.
Significant achievements were made at the plantation. In August 2008, Matanuska signed a co-operation agreement with Chiquita International Limited to export bananas. Unfortunately, Panama Disease, a fungal disease affecting the roots of banana plants, was confirmed present on the plantation in 2014. Norfund contributed to a number of measures to reduce the spread of the disease. The professional handling of the situation was recognised officially by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO). Norfund funded also professional research and analysis of alternative future modes of operation for continued farming. Norfund's decision to exit from this investment was mainly due to the differences in views on the future strategy between Norfund as a minority investor and those of the majority investors.