Agri-business Business

Farmers deserve proper storage

CHC Commodities Limited has invested over US$10 million to avert challenges being faced by farmers in storing their produce.
Company managing director Bob Coventry said CHC will address problems of crop wastage which farmers are currently facing due to lack of proper storage facilities.
“CHC Commodities and its subsidiaries have invested over US$12 million in the agriculture sector in Zambia and we anticipate to investing a further US$5 million in the next 18 months,” Mr Coventry said in Lusaka recently.
Last week, the Zambia Development Agency (ZDA) and CHC Commodities Limited signed a US$14.5 billion memorandum of understanding (MoU) to embark on the US$14.5 million investment project for the construction and management of grain storage sheds across the country.
The MoU was signed under the Investment Promotion and Protection Agreements (IPPA) arrangement.
Mr Coventry, however, said the company has had challenges in building part of the infrastructure that it has invested in particularly, the completion of the fertiliser factory in Kapiri Mposhi, but it is optimistic that the signing of the IPPA will address some of the challenges.
“We are hoping that with our IPPA and the support from the ZDA, we will be able to resolve this issue and avoid similar issues in the future,” he said.
The company also buys maize ranging between 40,000 to 50,000 tonnes from small-scale farmers each year which is supplied to commodity processors, and which has set up its base in Zambia, exports within the region periodically.
CHC is slowly a regional player in the agricultural sector with factories and offices in Malawi, Mozambique and, with its head office in Zambia.
“We are hoping to continue to grow in Zambia and the region, working together to improve agriculture in sub-Saharan Africa,” Mr Coventry said.

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