TRYNESS TEMBO, Lusaka
A LOCAL company has pledged to invest over US$7 million in Northern Province to undertake cropping, livestock and seed treatment operations.
Katito Farming Enterprises Limited, which is under the management of agro-experts with experience from managing a renowned agro-fund called AgDevCo, and are expected to employ over 170 people comprising skilled and unskilled labour.
This is according to an environmental impact assessment (EIA) report submitted to the Zambia Environmental Management Agency (ZEMA) and obtained by the Daily Mail last week.
The project will also include rearing of beef animals and establishment of seed storage and treatment sheds.
“Katito Farming Enterprises Limited intends to develop the farm to be an integrated farming unit to include growing of wheat, barley, soya beans, maize, seed maize, groundnuts, Irish seed potatoes, beans, coffee, macadamia nuts, avocadoes and a seed treatment facility.
“The above aligned projects are in line with the efforts of Government through private sector investment to shift the main stay of the economy from mining to agriculture of which 1,100 hectares was previously used for cropping and cattle ranching operations among others,” the report reads.
It says the company also intends to implement the project in a phased approach using a five-year plan starting this year after approval from relevant authorities.
The EIA anticipates that the success of the project will depend on the construction of various support structures on the farm for ease of project implementation and operations.
Under the project, crops will be grown both during the rainy season and the dry season.
“Crops grown in the dry season will be irrigated using centre pivots. The project will be implemented using four different phases; preparation, construction, operation and closure. Each phase will be undertaken in line with the provisions of relevant regulations,” the report reads.