LUSAKA, ZAMBIA – Zampalm Limited’s slick outgrower scheme in Mpika is forging ahead with oil palm grower expert and new general manager Nelson Basaalidde joining the ranks.
The scheme seeks to empower small-scaler farmers in Mpika to grow oil palms that will feed into Zampalm operations with the aim of developing the full potential of the 20,000-hectare plantation, of which 3,000 hectares is already planted.
Mr Basaalidde brings with him 20 years of commercial agriculture experience surrounding the management of outgrower schemes focused on efficient land use, capital administration and mobilisation of farmers.
A holder of a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture from the Makerere University in Kampala and an MBA from the Uganda Martyrs University, Nelson managed a 4,700 hectares palm oil outgrower scheme-part of an 11,000 hectares palm plantation in Uganda prior to joining Zampalm.
He is confident of the value addition and social economic benefits that the scheme entails for the local community.
“Growing palm oil has a lot of benefits in terms of employment. It has done very well in Uganda. The farmers are earning from it, the community has benefited from it, because of infrastructure development, and the businesses that come with it. Zampalm will be working closely with the communities and this place will have a very good agricultural environment,” said Mr Basaalidde.
He is however, not daunted by nor shies away from talking about the hard work that goes into building up such a venture to full capacity.
“It is an exciting job, I am happy to be joining Zampalm to do the same thing even better. Growing oil palm entails a number of activities including mobilising and registering farmers.
“A lot of work goes into mobilisation, preparing of land, raising of the oil palm seedlings, planting, etc and my job of course entails ensuring all those activities are achieved,” explained Mr Basaalidde.
He expressed his appreciation of best practices such as using centre pivots to water seedlings, and mulching to retain moisture, preserve soil integrity and guard against weeds, that are being used at Zampalm, stating “some of the practices they do here are better than we do back at home”.
Mr Basaalidde added: “Zambeef have done a commendable job in establishing this plantation from scratch. There was nothing in this place, but now they have over 3,000 hectares of oil palm plantation and they are already producing the palm oil which, as you know, is used to produce cooking oil and many other by-products including soap and lotion and that’s a great contribution to the economy of Zambia.”
He also pointed out there were several other stakeholders involved in the project and that each had a part to play in ensuring Zampalm’s success.
“The business model we employed in Uganda is the 4Ps: the public, private and the producer partnership. The 4th P is the partnership. It has worked so well. Government has played its part, the private company has played its part and the producers have played their part.
“Here the government of Zambia, through the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC), will be part of the partnership and the local chiefdoms will be part of the partnership as the custodians of the outgrowers in addition to Zambeef,” said Mr Basaalidde.
Once fully operational, the public-private partnership between the IDC and Zambeef Products, is estimated to contribute to import substitution of 70,000 metric tonnes of edible oils imported in Zambia, saving the country US$70-100 million in foreign exchange outflows every year.
IDC’s shareholding in Zampalm complements the investment in Zambeef by the National Pension Scheme Authority (NAPSA), which is the largest Zambian shareholder in the company, giving every Zambian citizen a stake in the food processing and retailing giant.
Palm oil is the world’s most used and versatile vegetable oil. In addition to cooking oil, its derivatives are found in foods such as margarines and ice cream and is also used as a thickener, preservative and antioxidant; in personal care products such as shampoo, and cosmetics; industrial products such as lubricants paints and inks; and as a renewable fuel. The palm plant is the most efficient oil producing plant and can be harvested for 25 years and as long as the tree continues to yield a harvest.
About Zambeef Products Plc
Zambeef Products Plc is the largest integrated cold chain food products and agribusiness company in Zambia and one of the largest in the region, involved in the primary production, processing, distribution and retailing of beef, chicken, pork, milk, eggs, dairy products, fish, flour and stockfeed, throughout Zambia and the surrounding region, as well as Nigeria and Ghana.
The Group is also one of the largest cereal row cropping operations in Zambia, with approximately 7,787 hectares of row crops under irrigation which are planted twice a year, and a further 8,694 hectares of rainfed/dry-land crops available for planting each year.
The company slaughters around 78,000 beef cattle, 7.3 million chickens and 60,000 pigs per annum, while also processing 19 million litres of milk, producing 154,000 tons of stockfeed, 69 million eggs, 68,000 pairs of shoes and processes 100,000 hides in its tannery per year.
It has 195 retail outlets throughout Zambia and West Africa.
Zambeef employs over 7,000 people with a total of K357 million paid in remuneration and benefits in the last year.
More information is available at www.zambeefplc.com
The contents of the post above were obtained from third parties, which We, AfricanFinancials, believe to be reliable. However, We do not guarantee their accuracy and the above information may be in condensed form. The reader is encouraged to refer to the original source of the information, which, in most cases, is in PDF format and on the originating company's letterhead. While We endeavour to replicate the original content accurately, We cannot guarantee the absence of errors in the above article and We disclaim any liability regarding reliance on information provided in this article.