ZAMBIA – Zambeef Products PLC, one of the region’s leading agribusiness companies has received US$35 million financing from IFC to back its recently unveiled US$100 million expansion plan.
Under the three-year plan, the integrated cold chain foods and retail business in Zambia highlighted that it seeks to expand its crop production while adding associated value and capacity to the company’s stockfeed, milling, meat processing, retailing operations and enable it to source more key inputs, such as wheat, dairy, and animal feed ingredients, from local suppliers.
Central to the investment strategy will be a doubling of wheat and soybean capacity at the company’s Mpongwe farms, with the area under cultivation growing from the current 3,343 hectares under irrigation and 7,621 hectares of rainfed cropping.
To this end, IFC has joined forces with Zambeef to boost food security and strengthen Zambia’s agricultural sector to create jobs and help fight poverty.
“Throughout its history Zambeef has grown with the Zambian people, providing jobs, livelihoods and world-class shopping for our customers by adding value to local produce.
“This latest support from IFC is part of our $100 million investment strategy to expand that even further,” said Faith Mukutu, Chief Executive Officer, Zambeef Products PLC.
Zambeef use the funds to upgrade its feed mill, develop more animal housing, purchase new farm equipment and develop 1,000 hectares of irrigation land, among others.
The project is expected to improve Zambeef’s value chain, which will result in the creation of almost 1,400 new jobs, expand the tax revenue and support small-scale farmers and small and medium-sized businesses. It will also increase access to high quality and affordable protein foods.
The agricultural sector plays an important role in Zambia’s economy, contributing almost half of all employment. However, agriculture, forestry and fishing contribute only 3 percent of GDP.
This presents an opportunity to significantly expand the sector’s contribution to economic growth in Zambia.
Carlos Katsuya, IFC’s Senior Country Manager for Zambia said, “Agribusiness is a key driver of economic growth and essential to ensure food security.
“IFC’s investment in Zambeef will continue to help develop and diversify this key sector, create thousands of jobs and provide quality, affordable food to Zambian consumers, while also expanding access to best practices and finance for the sector in the region.”
The investment will contribute to climate mitigation by supporting efforts to improve Zambeef’s energy and fuel efficiency and reduce more than 14,000 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions every year.
IFC will also provide advisory services to help Zambeef set up a comprehensive carbon assessment planning system, which will accelerate longer-term climate-smart initiatives to combat climate change.
The project will enable Zambeef to introduce a new health and biosecurity management system across its animal production chain. This will facilitate easier trade and allow for the safe transfer of live animals and products to prevent entry of diseases that could be circulating in domestic or regional markets.
IFC’s investment in Zambeef includes support from the International Development Association’s Private Sector Window (IDA-PSW) Local Currency Facility.
The project aligns with IFC’s strategic approach to agribusiness, which focuses on enhancing food security, boosting inclusive growth and shared prosperity, and making sustainability a business driver.