THE International Finance Corporation (IFC) has provided Zambeef Group with a US$40 million loan in the last three years to support its expansion plan.
Zambeef Group chairman Jacob Mwanza said the company’s growth and success has been possible with the help of a number of funders among them the IFC.
Dr Mwanza commended the IFC for the continued support and confidence that they have in the company.
“We are still looking forward to using these resources to consolidate and expand our primary production in crops. On behalf of Zambeef Group, I would like to extend my appreciation to the World Bank group and the IFC in particular,” he said.
Dr Mwanza said this in Lusaka when the World Bank executive directors toured Zambeef’s stock feed plant, Novatek in Lusaka.
He said Zambeef has acquired a 46,000 square meters farm area which will need funding from institutions such as the IFC.
He said in 2003, Zambeef was listed on the Lusaka Stock Exchange (LuSE), which has provided an opportunity for Zambians and local pension funds to buy shares in the firm.
In June 2011, Zambeef successfully concluded its dual listing on Alternative Investment Market (AIM) of the London Stock Exchange (LSE).
Dr Mwanza said the listing on AIM was rated as 2012’s deal-of-the-year in Africa for equities by the Banker magazine which saw the group successfully raising US$55 million listing in London and rights issue in Zambia.
Zambeef is one of the country’s largest agri-business operations with annual revenue of about US$250 million and a workforce of over 5,000.
He said the company is a major contributor to Government revenue with a number of operations largely in rural areas which has helped to sustain development and alleviate poverty.
At the same function, World Bank head of delegation Rudolf Treffers commended the firm for its diversified expansion of activities.
“What Zambeef is doing is a model we would like replicate. The IFC is proud of its engagement with Zambeef,” he said.
Mr Treffers said Zambeef is a positive example of how to use Zambia’s agricultural potential for development which has a positive effect on job creation and out-grower scheme participation.
He said majority poor Zambians live in rural areas and depend on farming for their livelihood.
“If the World Bank can find ways and means to support smallholders to be more productive. It’s positive for their income and economic development of the country,” he said.