Zambeef Products Plc (AIM:ZAM, LUSE:ZAMBF), the largest food products and agribusiness company in Zambia, has recently announced a USD 100 million expansion plan that will double its crop production while adding associated value and capacity to the company’s stockfeed, meat production and processing facilities and retailing operations.
Zambeef is involved in the primary production, processing, distribution and retailing of beef, chicken, pork, eggs, dairy, fish, flour, stock feed and day-old chicks throughout Zambia and the surrounding region. It operates 236 retail outlets in Zambia, Nigeria and Ghana.
Zambeef also has one of the largest row cropping operations in Zambia, growing maize, soybeans and wheat. Zambeef plants nearly 23,000 hectares annually, with most of the resulting crops being used in the Zambeef animal feed and flour milling businesses.
In its press release, the company explains that it will not only expand its various value chain production capacities but will also deliver developmental impact to the Zambian economy through job creation, increased tax revenue and supporting ancillary businesses such as small-scale farmers and small to medium-sized businesses.
Zambeef currently secures the produce of 1,700 small-scale farmers and post the expansion of the number of small-scale farmers it supports by buying their produce, and is targeted to grow this number to 6,760, thereby creating more jobs and contributing to the alleviation of poverty.
The investment will double the company’s Mpongwe farm’s row cropping capacity of grains to 150,000 tons per annum, consisting primarily of wheat and soya beans.
The envisaged expanded wheat production capacity will position Zambeef to be contributing approximately 20% of Zambia’s total annual production.
In response to the news, Zambia’s Minister of Finance Hon. Situmbeko Musokotwane said: “This investment is extremely pleasing as it is in direct response to the government’s support of the private sector in undertaking development projects and demonstrates the confidence Zambeef has in the seriousness of the government in its pledge to support the growth of home-grown businesses. The Government is further gratified that the investment comes at the right time, when the world is grappling with an imminent food crisis. The investment will not only ensure national food security, but will boost the Zambian economy and improve livelihoods. It will propel Zambia on its path to attaining the goal of being the food basket of the region”.