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Stevia Farm and Nursery

Sugar K Ltd has been involved, since 2011, in a Stevia experimental farming project in Paraguay, the land where the Stevia plant originates. The  three founders started the company Agronutrical del Paraguay SA at the end of 2010.  Long, careful research and development by the firm’s agronomists, have succeeded in improving significantly the Morita 2 variety, obtaining a plant with an excellent leaf yield and vastly increased contents of Steviol glycosides, the molecules which when extracted give a product 300 times sweeter than sugar weight for weight.

Stevia is a natural high intensity sweetener which has no calories, is suitable for diabetics and is competitive price-wise with sugar and other artificial sweeteners. Since being authorised as a safe ingredient first by the USDA  in the USA in 2008 and then in the European Community in December 2011, the inroads made by Stevia have been just short of spectacular:

Agronutrical aims to become a significant player in the Stevia market over time: the project is to expand its Stevia farming activities to large scale 1,000- hectare farms planted with Stevia on its own land, a large size for an horticultural type of farming; to build a 400 MT extracting plant  to reach a fully vertically integrated operation allowing to control its supply chain, leaf and extract quality, full traceability from farm to plate, fully certified agricultural practices and to derive a strong price and quality advantage with the major final users of Stevia; the project involves full mechanisation at planting and harvesting levels and drip irrigation.

The shareholders are looking for investors to take the Stevia farming project further afield from its current experimental size of 10 hectares plus a corresponding nursery, reservoirs, pumping station, warehouse: the full scope of the project requires over a period of four years a combined $50 million under the form of debt and equity.

In 2013 Sugar K Ltd was appointed by the Ministry of Industry and Commerce of Paraguay and its dedicated department Rediex as a “commercial antenna” to promote worldwide the interests of the Paraguayan Stevia. This programme funded by the International Bank for Development (BID) along with a twin programme allocated to Agronutrical del Paraguay to teach the small local cooperatives how to grow and propagate the Stevia plants supplied free of charge by AGN, has already borne fruit as a number of the contacted firms (industrial groups and family offices) have expressed  a strong interest in investing in Stevia in Paraguay.