ZAMBIA – Zambeef Products PLC, a leading player in Zambia’s food retailing industry has embarked on growing winter maize in response to the demands for food security amid climate change challenges in Zambia.

The company is currently conducting trials for winter maize cultivation at its Mpongwe farm, with over 130 hectares of land already planted, and further progress on about 700 hectares at Chiawa farm. 

This initiative follows the successful cultivation of over 40,000 tons of early maize, which is presently being harvested.

The cultivation of winter and early maize will complement the rain-fed maize harvest. 

Showcasing its substantial investments and commitment to boosting Zambia’s food security agenda, Zambeef hosted a few government officials at its Mpongwe Farm on the Copperbelt, among them Hon Dr. Situmbeko Musokotwane Minister of Finance & National Planning and Hon Reuben Mtolo Phiri the Minister of Agriculture.

According to the company, Zambeef remains steadfast in its commitment to capitalize on opportunities and aims to ensure a consistent maize supply throughout the year.

Speaking during the visit, Ms. Faith Mukutu, Zambeef CEO, expressed gratitude to the Ministers for their visit underscoring Zambeef’s dedication to supporting the government’s food security initiatives. 

We are extremely delighted and commend the Ministers of Finance and Agriculture for taking the time to visit the Zambeef Mpongwe farm. As Zambeef we remain committed to supporting the Government’s efforts to promote food security. As a growing local company our vision is to not only feed Zambia but also the region.” she said.

The Minister of Agriculture commended Zambeef for its boldness in exploring winter maize cultivation at the Mpongwe farm in addition to a successful 2024 early maize crop. He encouraged other farmers, both large and small, to emulate Zambeef.

In a testament to its commitment, Zambeef plans to supply 20,000 metric tonnes of maize to the Food Reserve Agency (FRA) in the forthcoming crop marketing season, aiming to supplement efforts to address the food security situation in the country following crop failures in various parts of the nation.

Zambeef’s efforts come at a time when Zambia, like some of its neighbours, is suffering from severe drought due to the El Nino phenomenon, which is worsening harsh weather conditions attributed in part to climate change.

The drought has destroyed about 1 million hectares of the 2.2 million hectares planted with the staple maize crop, forcing President Hakainde Hichilema to declare the country’s debilitating drought a national disaster and emergency.

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