Zambian Minister of Agriculture Inaugurates Amatheon’s Farming Expansion
The Zambian Minister of Agriculture and Livestock, Hon. Given Lubinda, visited Amatheon Agri Zambia’s operations in Mumbwa District on the 29th of July. He was accompanied by the Minister of Commerce, Trade and Industry, Hon. Margaret Mwanakatwe. The Minister of Agriculture officially inaugurated the constructional phase of two different dam sites which are part of Amatheon’s expansion strategy in the area. The CEO of the Amatheon Group, Carl Heinrich Bruhn, and the Managing Director of Amatheon Agri Zambia, Troy Minne, were honored to show the delegation around two evolving farm blocks which are going to be irrigated by the two separate dams. The company intends to invest around $20 million for the expansion of both farm blocks including land development and irrigation.
To symbolically display his appreciation of the undertakings two ribbon-cutting ceremonies were held to announce the construction of both irrigation projects. The first dam site refers to the recently announced joint venture of Amatheon Agri Zambia and the Toyota Tsusho Corporation which aims to develop 2,700 hectares of land for cropping of maize, wheat and soya. To ensure steady water supply for irrigation purposes the dam will be built to operate at full capacity as of 2017. The Minister stated: “It is impressive to observe how the Mumbwa District area has been progressively developed by the company over the past three years. Amatheon Agri Zambia is an excellent example for sustainable investment in agricultural production.”
The second dam site is part of a farming block expansion whereby the dam complements the development of a 10.000 hectare block for irrigated farming operations as well as cattle ranching and rain fed cropping. The construction will be completed and the dam fully operational during the course of 2016. Carl Heinrich Bruhn said: “We are happy to further extend our infrastructure whereby we expect to increase our productivity and contribute to Zambia’s further agricultural development and food security.”
Amatheon Agri Zambia has been operating in Mumbwa District since the beginning of 2012. The company’s activities contributed to agricultural growth and social infrastructure in the area. Apart from an improved infrastructure and employment on the farm, this has also been achieved through Amatheon’s successful implementation of an Outgrower Scheme whereby smallholders are provided with training and access to the agricultural market.