ESTHER MSETEKA, Lusaka
NOVATEK Animal Feeds this year intends to increase production of stock feed to 15,000 tonnes per month from the current 13,000 tonnes due to a rise in demand.
Novatek is a subsidiary of Zambeef Group of Companies, producing stockfeed for chickens, cattle, pigs, goats, sheep and fish.
Zambeef Productâ€™s Novatek stock-feed division general manager Walter Roodt said the company will continue to support small-scale farmers to enhance the growth of livestock and aquaculture industries in the country.
Mr Roodt said out of the 100 percent feed the firm produces, 30 percent goes to the Zambeef value chain to feed pigs, poultry and cattle while 70 percent is sold to farmers across Zambia and the southern African region.
He said this during a tour of Novatek plant by local journalists and a delegation of public and private sector experts on a World Bank south-to-south study exchange visit from Mauritania last week.
â€œIn 2013, Novatek increased its capacity by 30 percent, adding a mash mixing plant and broadening our product offering to include macro packs of premixed minerals, vitamins and concentrates that farmers can mix with their own [product to make]â€¦ broiler, pullet, layer and pig feeds,â€ Mr Roodt said.
In 2014, we increased stockfeed pelleting capacity by 50 percent with the addition of a second pelleting line; a technology primarily used to make broiler feeds and improves the efficiency and quality of the feeds, thus reducing the amount of feed required.
He also said that Novatek recorded a decrease in export earnings from K34.3 million in 2013 to K27.1 million last year due to challenges to fully penetrate international markets such as Zimbabwe.
Currently, the firm is exporting to Malawi, Mozambique and Namibia, among other neighbouring countries.
Earlier, delegation leader Haroune Sidatt said Novatek is a model example to other countries in Africa intending to grow their livestock industry.
Mr Sidatt said Mauritania, which has a population of two million, currently exports live animals and imports animal feed with national herd of six million goats and sheep, four million cattle and 2.5 million camels.
He said despite such figures, the country does not have a value-addition programme like that of Zambeef Products.
Meanwhile, Tryness Mbale reports that the Choma District Dairy Cooperative Union and Milk Collection Centre and Czech Republic Development Agency (CDA) have launched an animal feed production project for the farmers to have a stable supply feed throughout the year.
The project will be funded by the Czech Republic Development Cooperation and is aimed at developing the capacity of the Choma District Dairy Union Co-operative and Monze Dairy Farmers Cooperative Union member farmers in production of feed for dairy cattle.
This is according to the Zambia National Farmers Union (ZNFU) Friday brief availed to the Daily Mail last week.
Under the project, farmers will also be educated on appropriate use of agricultural equipment for animal feed production from 2014-17.
The project dubbed â€˜Appropriate and Stable Fodder Production for Dairy Cattle on Small Scale Farmsâ€™ was launched last week.
â€œThe newly-launched project will significantly support the local dairy farmers considering that most of them are traditional cattle keepers. The farmers acknowledged that fodder production will certainly bring change to local dairy farms by integrating a stable feeding system throughout the year,â€ the statement reads.
ESTHER MSETEKA, Lusaka