Zambian agro-processing company sets aside US$23m to invest in food additives processing

ZAMBIA – 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, according to reports by Daily Mail Zambia will be undertake 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.

Chenguang Biotech (Zambia) Agri-Dev Limited is a subsidiary of the Chenguang Biotech Group Co. Limited based in China (“CCGB”).

The group is one of the world’s leading producers and suppliers of natural plant extraction for paprika oleoresin, capsicum oleoresin and marigold oleoresin.

They also manufacture natural pigments, natural spice extracts, essential oils, natural nutrient and medicinal extracts and protein.

The company last year acquired Sinazongwe farm from Zambeef, one of the largest integrated cold chain food producers at a cost of US$10 million.

The disposal of the farm was aimed to enable Zambeef to use the proceed to largely pay down the group’s debt.

In addition, it was a move to enable the meat company to focus on growing its core business, which is the production and retailing of cold chain meat and dairy products and stockfeed, delivered through the Group’s extensive processing, distribution and retail network.

Sinazongwe Farm is made up of three land parcels comprising a total land area of approximately 2,549.8 Ha. of which approximately 1,815 Ha is developed, arable land under irrigation.

The main crops grown on the Farm are soya beans in the November to March season and wheat in the April to September season.

There is a feedlot and abattoir on the land which remained in the name, title and ownership of Zambeef. Chenguang will grant Zambeef free and unfettered use of up to 200,000 litres of water per day for use on Zambeef’s Feedlot and Abattoir.

The planned investment by Chenguang is an added boost to Zambia’s food additives processing sector which has seen the entrance of new player like Sage Valley.

The start-up is a spices and pastes processing company who recently clinched a K250,000 (US$11,800) revolving working capital facility from the Empress Fund, managed by Africa Trust Group (ATG) based in Cape Town, South Africa.

Sage Valley was established in October 2019 and recently has availed its products in a number of Shoprite stores thus the funds acquired will be channelled towards increasing their production capacity and meeting increased demand for their products.

In addition to being listed in Shoprite, Sage Valley spices are also available in Melissa Supermarkets with plans for listing into more stores nationwide.

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