Zambeef CEO shares Zambia’s agricultural outlook with Irish Forum

October 16th, 2018

Agribusiness powerhouse highlights Zambia’s massive agriculture potential at Africa-Ireland Economic Forum

LUSAKA, ZAMBIA – Zambeef Products’ chief executive officer Francis Grogan has shared Zambia’s positive agricultural sector outlook at this year’s Africa-Ireland Economic Forum (AIEF).

In a keynote speech, he described the country’s potential to feed itself and the wider SADC/COMESA region of 460 million people.

He illustrated how Zambia was self-sufficient in maize, wheat and soybean, in part thanks to production by Zambeef, which has one of the largest cropping operations in the country, with a total of approximately 25,000 hectares of irrigated and rainfed arable land farmed annually.

“Given the appropriate attention and investment, Zambia could be feeding itself and neighbouring countries as opposed to importing some of the foods that it currently does,” said Mr Grogan.

Mr Grogan touched on the role that African countries such as Zambia can play in contributing to global food security, noting it remains a critical factor to the national stability of any country. He highlighted the opportunities available to countries engaged in agriculture – both in food production and processing – with the United Nations projecting a three-fold increase in food demand from US$8 billion in 2017 to US$25 billion in 2032, owing to the region’s growing population.

“Agriculture is a multifaceted sector that can act as a spark for the creation of industries and ventures, as well as help tackle poverty reduction and malnutrition,” said Mr Grogan.

He outlined the structure of Zambeef, and described how its model of vertical integration added value and provided a market linking the nation’s farmers to consumers throughout the country and across the region.

He said this co-existence between smallholders and larger corporate entities, such as Zambeef, serves as a benchmark model, especially given that the majority of African farms are smallholdings. This model has helped significantly reduce the amount of post-harvest spoilage of produce, and time to market.

“The transference of agro technology to farmers in the value chain has not only helped further strengthen it, but also added value in terms of the quality of products which consumers receive,” he said.

In addition to running its own cropping operation, Zambeef is one of the country’s largest buyers of maize, after the national Food Reserve Agency, as well as one of the largest employers, after the government and the mines, with over 7,000 employees.

AIEF is an annual forum hosted by Ireland’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade in partnership with African Ambassadors in Ireland. It aims to provide a key networking opportunity for African and Irish businesses to discuss opportunities in Africa and identify areas for mutually beneficial trade and investment. The forum brings together business people and thought leaders from Europe’s most dynamic economy with those from the world’s most dynamic continent.

Zambeef Products’ chief executive officer Francis Grogan has shared Zambia’s positive agricultural sector outlook at this year’s Africa-Ireland Economic Forum (AIEF).

Zambeef Products’ chief executive officer Francis Grogan: sharing Zambia’s positive agricultural sector outlook at this year’s Africa-Ireland Economic Forum (AIEF).

About Zambeef Products Plc
Zambeef Products Plc is the largest integrated cold chain food products and agribusiness company in Zambia and one of the largest in the region, involved in the primary production, processing, distribution and retailing of beef, chicken, pork, milk, eggs, dairy products, fish, flour and stockfeed, throughout Zambia and the surrounding region, as well as Nigeria and Ghana.

The Group is also one of the largest cereal row cropping operations in Zambia, with approximately 7,787 hectares of row crops under irrigation which are planted twice a year, and a further 8,694 hectares of rainfed/dry-land crops available for planting each year.

The company slaughters around 78,000 beef cattle, 7.3 million chickens and 60,000 pigs per annum, while also processing 19 million litres of milk, producing 154,000 tons of stockfeed, 69 million eggs, 68,000 pairs of shoes and processes 100,000 hides in its tannery per year.

It has 195 retail outlets throughout Zambia and West Africa.

Zambeef employs over 7,000 people with a total of K357 million paid in remuneration and benefits in the last year.
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