AGRICULTURE

ZAMBEEF CONTRIBUTION TO FOOD SECURITY IMPRESSES INVESTORS

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Zambeef chairman Dr Jacob Mwanza (right), with Zambeef director of agriculture Mike Lovett (centre) and CDC chairman Graham Wrigley. during a tour of Zambeef’s Mpongwe Farm.

LUSAKA, ZAMBIA – Zambia’s food security is a contributing factor to the nation’s stability, Zambeef chief executive officer Francis Grogan told the company’s largest shareholder this week.
Speaking during a tour of Zambeef’s flagship Mpongwe Farm in the Copperbelt, Mr Grogan explained how the nation was self-sufficient in maize, wheat and soybean, in part thanks to production by Zambeef. CDC directors inspected the farm, as well as is its Novatek stockfeed plant and Zamhatch hatchery, as part of their board meeting, which tales place every year in a different country in which it invests. Some of the party also visited Zambeef’s thriving outlet in the border town of Kasumbalesa, accompanied by the UK government’s Trade Envoy for Africa, Baroness Northover. CDC is the investment arm of the UK government and holds a 38 percent stake in Zambeef. “We have been looking round all of Zambeef’s activities on the Congo border and at Mpongwe. We are just so proud that CDC are investors, and we thank all the team, the management and staff for all the amazing work they are doing,” said CDC chairman Graham Wrigley.

Members of the CDC group board inspect harvesting at Zambeef’s Mpongwe Farm

Mr Grogan outlined the structure of Zambeef and described how its model of vertical integration added value and provided a market linking the nation’s farmers to consumers throughout the country and across the region. “Zambia is self-sufficient in staple foods, and has the opportunity to feed the whole SADC region. Zambeef has the capacity and drive to make that opportunity a reality,” he said. In September 2016, Zambeef struck a landmark deal with CDC, which made a US$65 million equity investment in the food processing and retailing company, allowing it to regain full ownership of its Zamhatch and Zamchick subsidiaries, as well as reduce debt levels and fund capital investment plans in addition to lessening Zambeef’s exposure to exchange rate fluctuations. The investment also enabled Zambeef to increase day-old chick volumes and associated stockfeed production, creating new business opportunities for small and emerging farmers as well as increasing efficiency for consumers.

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