Siliya praises Zambeef’s $65m capital raising

Siliya praises Zambeef’s $65m capital raising.

AGRICULTURE minister Dora Siliya has praised Zambeef Products on successfully raising of US$65 million of capital investment from CDC Group.

This investment has enabled Zambeef to regain full Zambian ownership of its Zamhatch hatchery and Zam Chick broiler divisions after a US$23 million cash buy-back of shares from a South African joint venture partner.

“CDC has seen the potential and that’s why they have come here as a stamp of approval that this country can do well and will do well,” Siliya said during a function on Monday.

She also expressed confidence in Zambia’s ability to help support the government’s policy of strengthening the agriculture sector for the country to become the major player in the region and beyond.

“We truly must support the private sector because when business makes money, when business makes a profit, then the opportunities for job creation, the opportunities for wealth creation from investment abound. We are not in the business of making money as government. We want to provide the environment, the enabling environment for the private sector, the farmers, the agribusiness to actually make the money,” said Siliya, who further noted the need for change of attitude towards agriculture for Zambia to develop its agricultural potential.

Zambeef joint chief executive officer Dr Carl Irwin reiterated Zambeef’s stance on value addition, agriculture and food production in Zambia, noting that an increasing number of stakeholders at all levels in the country, public and private, were engaging more in the sector in order to diversify the economy.

“Zambeef passionately believes in Zambia’s agriculture potential; this has always been our stance. We have all the main ingredients for a robust and successful agriculture sector with ample fresh water, land, and human resources and an outstanding climate made available to us. The key to unlocking this potential remains in strategic and deliberately targeted investment aimed at increasing efficiencies in both primary production and agro processing undertakings within the sector. With the new investment, we can now focus on our core business of cold chain food processing and retailing, and continue with expansion plans to our distribution and retailing platform in Zambia and the region,” said Dr Irwin.

“With CDC, Zambeef has not only gained in terms of the capital financing but also a partner with an understanding of our vision and with years of experience in investments on the home continent as well as Asia, which will prove valuable as we seek to grow our presence across Africa and into some of the other promising markets.”