By BUUMBA CHIMBULU
A UNITED KINGDOM based investment advisor managing African agricultural funds, SilverStreet, has pumped a K91 million investment into the Zambia Seed Company (Zamseed) to assist expand its operations.
This brings SilverStreet’s total investment into Zambia since 2013 to over K2.2 billion.
SilverStreet’s Chief Investment Officer, Gary Vaughan-Smith, said Zamseed’s high quality seed would benefit smallholder farmer’s incomes through higher yields and a more robust performance in variable conditions.
“We are excited to support the Zamseed team’s development and expansion plans and, to be aligned with the Government’s objective to develop Zambia’s agriculture industry,” Mr Vaughan-Smith said in a statement yesterday.
SilverStreet made its first investment into Zamseed in 2018 and has continued to back the company with this latest commitment taking its total investment and share purchases in Zamseed to over K560 million.
Mr Vaughan-Smith said SilverStreet Capital had already invested in two other businesses in the country.
The UK-based firm had invested in Silverlands Ranching Limited, a beef value chain business in Southern Province and Silverlands Zambia Limited, a commercial farming and grain business in Central Province.
ZAMSEED’S Managing Director, William Rutherford-Smith, said the company would be using the new funding to revamp the processing plant in Lusaka.
Mr Rutherford-Smith said the company would also use the funds to significantly expand research capability, vegetable seed product line and to meet its strategic goal of becoming a regional seed company headquartered in Zambia.
“ZAMSEED produces high quality seed in Zambia for Zambian farmers and, is one of Zambia’s most respected brands.
“We have already made great strides towards returning the company to its former position as one of Zambia’s leading seed companies,” he said.
Meanwhile, ZAMSEED employed a new expert breeder in 2019 to support and build on its breeding programme.
The expert, Amsal Tesfaye, said: “This heralds a new era in ZAMSEED’S life.
With SilverStreet’s investment, ZAMSEED will improve and expand product portfolios to support smallholder farmers across the country, and throughout Africa.
By BUUMBA CHIMBULU