Singapore firm takes over Zambia's biggest coffee estateComtex News Network
LUSAKA, Sep 26, 2012 (Xinhua via COMTEX) -- One of Singapore's leadingintegrated supply chain manager and processor of agriculturalproducts and food ingredients has acquired Zambia's largest coffeeestate which has been inactive for years due to financialconstraints, the Times of Zambia reported on Wednesday. OlamInternational Limited has acquired a 100 percent equity inNorthern Coffee Corporation Limited for approximately 6.15 millionU. S. dollars through a bidding process that was organized by thecountry's investment agency- the Zambia Development Agency (ZDA).
Minister of Defense Geoffrey Mwamba, in whose constituency thecoffee estate falls in northern Zambia, said all the formalitieshad been completed and that the Singaporean firm had since takenpossession of the plantation.
"I must say that everything is under control and that theinvestor has already taken possession of the plantation and allthat is remaining was to start mobilizing," he was quoted assaying by the paper.
According to him, the Zambian government which previously had a10 percent shareholding had given it out to the investor who nowowned 100 percent equity.
The Singaporean firm is expected to inject a further 40 milliondollars as capital expenditure and pre-operative expenditure tofully develop 2,000 hectares of the Arabica coffee plantation overthe next five years, he added.
The estate, which would employ about 3,000 people duringharvest time was expected to yield about 4, 500 tons of Arabicacoffee beans by the company's financial year 2021 at steady-state,while the first 300 hectares are expected to be planted infinancial year 2013.
Northern Coffee Corporation Limited was formed in March 2011 totake over the assets of Kasama Coffee Company, which had been inreceivership since 2008. The country's investment agency andindebted banks had been shareholders on the coffee firm until itsacquisition.
The company's assets consists of five estates on 5,866hectares of land in northern Zambia's Kasama district.Approximately 1,580 hectares on three of these estates werepreviously cultivated for coffee production with dams, canals andreservoirs for irrigation.