Samona Zambia Limited sets up agribusiness venture with US$500k investment

ZAMBIA – Samona Zambia Limited, is seeking to invest US$500,000 in the development of a farming estate in North-Western province of Zambia.

The proposed project site, according to Daily Mail Zambia measures 2,739.1584 hectares and will be utilized to grow wheat and barley with annual production of 500 tonnes each.

Other crops and fruits to be produced will include maize and avocado with annual production of 1,000 tonnes each, 900 tonnes of stevia and 400 tonnes of soya beans.

The investment aimed to bolster the agriculture industry of Zambia comes at a time that Zambian agro-processing company Chenguang Biotech Zambia Agri-Dev Limited is seeking to invest US$23 million to cultivate, harvest and process paprika, marigold and stevia.

The project will be undertaken on 4,000 hectares of land in Chibombo, Central Province.

The company has submitted an environmental impact statement (EIS) report to the Zambia Environmental Management Agency (ZEMA), awaiting approval to kick start the project.

Samona’s investment majorly focuses on the grain sector, whose import requirements of cereals in the 2020/21 marketing year are estimated at a near‑average level of 73 000 tonnes, moderately down from the previous year’s level, indicates GIEWS report by FAO.

Import requirements of wheat and rice are estimated at 40, 000 and 28, 000 tonnes, respectively, while only negligible amounts of maize imports are foreseen due to the bumper domestic output in 2020.

Zambia returned to a bumper maize harvest last year after it recorded an estimated 3,387,469 metric tonnes in the 2019/2020 agriculture season.

This was an increase from the 2,004,389 metric tonnes produced the previous season and represented an increase of 69 percent.

Zambia’s import requirements of cereals in the 2020/21 are estimated at an average level of 73 000 tonnes

Since the country had a maize carry-over stock amounting to 179,247 metric tonnes as at May 1, the total supply of maize available for the 2020/2021 marketing season was now 3,566,716 metric tonnes.

Exports of maize are expected to increase substantially in 2020/21 compared to the previous year, although they are likely to remain below the average level as the country seeks to bolster the national stocks following the drawdowns in the previous two marketing year years.

With a projected population of over 17 million people, the total maize required is 3,356,617 metric tonnes and these are broken down as 1,603,383 metric tonnes for human consumption, 1,000,000 metric tonnes for strategic food reserves and 409,018 metric tonnes for industrial requirements.

A secondary factor weighing on export prospects in 2020/21 is the large harvests in neighbouring countries that have cut domestic import needs within the subregion.

In addition, a large output in South Africa, the main maize exporter in the region, will also limit export opportunities for Zambian grains.

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