Zambeef’s state-of-the-art hatchery and stockfeed milling plant in Mpongwe launched
LUSAKA, ZAMBIA – President Edgar Chagwa Lungu has commissioned a US$30 million hatchery and stockfeed mill at Zambeef’s Mpongwe Farm on the Copperbelt – the single largest agricultural investment in the province to date.
As part of its ongoing strategic outline, Zambeef set out key priorities for growth with an increased focus on production expansion and its cold chain food products division that has included massive capital reinvestment across various operations.
The President commended Zambeef on the investment stating it was in line with government’s goal to make agriculture the number one economic activity and ensure food security by working with both commercial and small-scale farmers in the country.
“We want to be a net exporter of food in the region, not only SADC but the entire COMESA region. So count me as a partner of the farmers, not just Zambeef, including the small-scale farmers and all those who are supporting agriculture,” said Mr Lungu.
Zambeef Chairman Dr Jacob Mwanza echoed President Lungu’s sentiments regarding exports and relayed the company’s commitment to the agricultural sector, highlighting Zambeef’s participation across the country’s supply value chain in both primary and secondary production as well as the retailing and distribution of its products.
“Zambeef has made this investment fully convinced that we don’t only have to address the Zambian market but have strategically located this plant so that our day old chicks can be exported to the neighbouring countries,” said Dr Mwanza.
The hatchery, which falls under the Zamhatch division, produces over 1.2 million chicks per month with 48 percent of the production currently sold to small-scale farmers across the country. Zambeef expects to significantly double capacity in the next five years.
“Zambeef is indeed big on value addition. And this investment which we are launching is valued at US$30 million; US$10 million of which has gone into the stockfeed plant and the other remaining US$20 million has gone into Zamhatch, which is the hatchery. This again has given Zambeef an opportunity to have forward and backward linkages. At every stage we are getting involved with the community in the form of small-scale farmers by providing them with day-old chicks as well as offering a market for their grain production, particularly maize and soybeans, which our stockfeed will use,” said Dr Mwanza.
Zambeef projects to buy over 2,500 metric tons of maize and over 1,500 metric tons of soybean per month as raw material for the plant, which will be producing12,000 tons of stockfeed per month. The feedmill produces stockfeed for the broiler parent stock for Zamhatch as well as being sold to our farmers around the country under the Zambeef Novatek stock feed division.
The milling plant has so far helped create over 300 direct jobs with Novatek currently having 500 private SME agents on the Copperbelt alone – a big value chain component in Zambeef’s feed production distribution and retailing.
The Zambeef Mpongwe farm is the food company’s largest farming asset and is a mixed farm with irrigation and dry land farming, feed mill and hatchery. The farm is composed of three farms: Nampamba, Kampemba and Chambata. The three farms produce about 20,000 tonnes of maize, 26,000 tonnes of soybean and 21,000 tonnes of wheat per year constituting 60 percent of the total crop production of Zambeef arable grain crops. Other farms include Sinazongwe, Chiawa and Huntley in Chisamba.
Dr Mwanza further made an appeal to government for the upgrade of the Machiya-Mpongwe road as it would not only help lower production cost for small-scale and commercial farmers but also serve to attract more investment in the area particularly in the agriculture sector.
He also reiterated Zambeef’s commitment to contribute to and positively impact the local agro sector.
“Zambeef has always believed in the potential of Zambia’s agriculture sector and in its local farmer’s ability to produce high quality grains and other food commodities. We will continue to invest in building the capacity of our farmers, working with the government and various other stakeholders to further strengthen the sector and realise the goal of making the country a food basket for the entire SADC and COMESA regions,” said Dr Mwanza.
About Zambeef Products Plc
Zambeef Products Plc is the largest integrated agribusiness and food processing company in Zambia and one of the largest in the region.
The group is principally involved in the production, processing, distribution and retailing of beef, chicken, pork, milk, dairy products, eggs, stockfeed and flour. The group also has large row cropping operations (principally maize, soya beans and wheat), planting 16,500 hectares in summer and 8,000 hectares in winter. The group is also expanding its West Africa operations in Nigeria and Ghana.
The company slaughters around 70,000 beef cattle, 6.75 million chickens and 70,000 pigs per annum, while also processing 16 million litres of milk, producing 150,000 tons of stockfeed, 60 million eggs, 78,000 pairs of shoes and processes 97,500 hides in its tannery per year.
It has 187 retail outlets throughout Zambia and West Africa.