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NCCL sets aside $8.9m for expanded coffee cultivation

THE Northern Coffee Corporation Limited (NCCL) has set aside about US$8.9 million to acquire land in Northern Province for cultivation of coffee to help revive the sector.
NCCL is a fully-owned subsidiary company of Olam International Limited and already owns four estates which it has refurbished into large-scale irrigated Arabica coffee plantations.
Under the project, the agricultural activities will start with the cultivation of annual crops such as wheat, maize and soya in an initial rotation cycle to raise the poor soil fertility discovered from the soil analysis made on the farm.
This will enable NCCL to then establish, in the medium-term, large Arabica coffee plantations under the central irrigation systems.
This is according to the environmental impact assessment (EIA) report submitted by the firm to the Zambia Environmental Management Agency and obtained by the Daily Mail yesterday.
“NCCL intends to expand further its operations by acquiring a fifth farm in Mbala.
In addition to the coffee fields and central irrigation pivots… infrastructures which are crucial components to manage the estate will be built such as housing compound, warehouse and workshop as well as the coffee wet mill,” the report reads.
The EIA says to support the irrigation, a couple of pumping stations and a water reservoir will be established.
The project will involve the setting up of the nursery for the production of enough coffee seedlings to plant the total hectarage planned to be under cultivation, among others.
The implementation of the project will result in general improvement in local livelihoods of the people, increase in revenue to local authorities and institutions from communications, land rates, licences and personal levy.
Other benefits are increase of foreign currency for the economy from export of agricultural products and creation of employment opportunities during the construction and operational phases.