Zambia’s President Lungu commissions $30 million hatchery and stockfeed mill

By Wallace Mawire

Zambeef Chairman Dr Jacob Mwanza and Head of Corporate Affairs Felix Lupindula welcome H.E. President Edgar Chagwa Lungu to Mpongwe Farm
Zambeef Chairman Dr Jacob Mwanza and Head of Corporate Affairs Felix Lupindula welcome H.E. President Edgar Chagwa Lungu to Mpongwe Farm

Zambia’s President Edgar Lungu has commissioned a $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.

President Lungu commended Zambeef on the investment stating it
was in line with Zambian 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 President 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% 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 $30 million,
$10 million of which has gone into the stockfeed plant and the other
remaining $20 million has gone into Zamhatch, which is the hatchery.

It is reported that 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.

H.E. President Edgar Chagwa Lungu inspects the new Novatek stockfeed plant at Zambeef’s Mpongwe Farm.
H.E. President Edgar Chagwa Lungu inspects the new Novatek stockfeed plant at Zambeef’s Mpongwe Farm.

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% of the total crop production of Zambeef arable grain

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.

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