ZAMBIA is the future of African agriculture – that’s the message from a group of visiting South American commercial farmers who toured operations at Zambeef Products’ Huntley Farm in Chisamba at the weekend.
Zambeef hosted some 16 farmers from Argentina and Uruquay, who inspected the company’s meat processing plant, feedlot and cropping operations as part of a wider tour of South Africa and Zambia.
“We are impressed with Zambeef. It is very good,” said group leader Prof. Enrique Erize. “We think that Africa is the future of agriculture in the world; and Zambia is the future inside Africa.”
“We think that the future is Zambia because of the location, because of the kind of soil, and because of the rain,” he added, pointing out that Zambia is home to 40 percent of the water resources in Southern Africa, and that globally, 80 percent of water is used for agriculture.
The South American visitors – who farm a variety of crops such as wheat, soybeans and maize in their home counties – were particularly interested to hear about Zambeef’s cropping operations.
Zambeef does not use genetically modified (GMO) seed in its soya and maize production or indeed any other grain crop, explained Huntley Farm General Manager Francis Mondomona. Despite our colleagues in advanced agricultural economies like Argentina and Brazil that have GMO soya and maize, our yields per hectare are still very competitive with non-GMO seed.
He emphasised that Zambia is the only country in the region with a wheat surplus, and that Zambeef is the largest single producer of wheat and soybeans in the country.
Zambeef Products Plc is the largest integrated agribusinesses in Zambia.
The group is principally involved in the production, processing, distribution and retailing of beef, chicken, pork, milk, dairy products, eggs, edible oils, stock feed, flour and bread. The group also has large row cropping operations (principally maize, soya beans and wheat), with approximately 8,350 hectares of row crops under irrigation and 17,000 hectares of rain-fed/dry-land crops available for planting each year. The group is also in the process of rolling out its West Africa expansion in Nigeria and Ghana, as well as developing a palm project in Zambia.
It slaughters more than 80,000 beef cattle and 6 million chickens, and processes 8 million litres of milk per year. The company has 121 retail outlets throughout the country, along with three wholesale depots.
– See more at: http://www.mwebantu.com/2014/08/12/zambeef-impresses-south-american-farmers/#sthash.5kTYmV6L.dpuf