The International Finance Corporation(IFC) and Zambeef PLC have signed a 35 Million United States Dollars Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) that will see Zambeef boost value addition to agricultural produce.
IFC Vice president, Sergio Pimenta who signed the MoU on behalf of his organisation says the move is intended at boosting food security and strengthening Zambia’s agricultural sector to create jobs and help fight poverty.
Mr Pimenta said the agreement will see IFC invest up to $35 million in Zambeef to support the company’s three-year plan to expand its food production and processing capacities and enable it to source more key inputs, such as wheat, dairy, and animal feed ingredients, from local suppliers.
He observed that many countries have seen an economic downturn following COVID-19 and the Russia-Ukraine war hence the move will help Zambia restore its economy.
“We note however that Zambia’s commitment to ensuring a good performance has seen a reduction in the inflation levels, which is good for the economy,” he said.
Mr Pimenta stated that the investment will contribute to climate mitigation by supporting efforts to improve Zambeef’s energy and fuel efficiency.
“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,” he noted.
And Zambeef Chief Executive Officer, Faith Mukutu said Zambeef will 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.
Ms Mukutu said this will lead to the creation of almost 1,400 new jobs, expansion of the tax revenue and support for small-scale farmers and small and medium-sized businesses.
“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 the entry of diseases that could be circulating in domestic or regional markets,” she said.