ESTHER MSETEKA, Lusaka
THE International Finance Corporation (IFC) has provided a US$20 million equity investment to Agrivision Africa to support the modernisation of existing grain production operations in the country.
The financing will also contribute to increased food security through the expansion of the agricultural and food processing industry in Zambia.
Agrivision Africa, formerly known as Chayton Africa which focuses on large-scale farming of wheat, soya beans, maize and milling, is an investee company listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange with the agribusiness group Zeder Investments.
According to information posted by EIN News on Monday, IFC, the financial arm of the World Bank, will enable the company to showcase modern and efficient agricultural equipment in the country.
â€œIFC will provide a US$20 million equity investment in Agrivision to support its US$30 million expansion programmeâ€¦ The project is expected to create jobs, contribute to the smaller businesses in the local economy, and apply IFCâ€™s high environmental and social standards,â€ it says.
The statement says the company produces an annual output of 20,000 tonnes of maize, 12,000 tonnes of soya beans and 30,000 tonnes of wheat.
Its milling plant has a capacity of processing 40,000 tonnes of maize and 20,000 tonnes of wheat per year.
IFC manufacturing, agribusiness and services industry lead German Vegarra said the corporation is investing and providing advice across the agribusiness value chain to facilitate services to improve the output of one million farmers by 2020.
â€œAgrivision is demonstrating the opportunity that exists in Africa today to modernise agricultural production and processing, with about 60 percent of Africaâ€™s population relying on agribusiness for their livelihoods,â€ he said.
Agrivision owns 18,000 hectares of land, of which 5,568 hectares is suitable for grain cultivation and 4,368 hectares is irrigated land.
Commenting on the development, Zeder chief executive officer Norman Celliers said, â€œWith the financial support and agribusiness sector knowledge IFC brings, Agrivision will expand to become a leader in its market and demonstrate the opportunities in Zambiaâ€™s agriculture sector.â€
ESTHER MSETEKA, Lusaka