A FURTHER investment of US$2.3 million has been made into the seed potato processing company based in Mbala with the assistance from UK Aid.
According to a press statement made available by British High Commissions Political and Communications Office, the investment would help Zambia move towards self-sufficiency in potato seed production.
“AgDevCo is pleased to announce a further investment of US$2.3m into Saise Farming Enterprises Limited (“Saise”), a seed potato processing company in Mbala, Northern Province, Zambia,” the statement read in part.
The British High Commission added that Saise supplies high quality potato seed to Zambian farmers and for export.
It added that the investment would also help Zambia reduce reliance on expensive imports.
“Following a successful first two years of operation, the additional financing from AgDevCo, which is backed by UK Aid, will enable Saise to expand its cold storage and potato handling infrastructure. The company expects to be selling 5,000 tonnes of potato seed and a further 1,700 tonnes of ware potatoes annually within five years,” the British High Commission stated.
The Commission added that Saise was part of an emerging cluster of pioneering investments. The company’s main out-grower for seed potatoes, Katito Farming Enterprises Limited, which had also received AgDevCo support, was located nearby.
And Nigel Seabrook, who is the Director of AgDevCo Zambia, said he believed that northern Zambia had huge potential to drive the development of the seed potato market, with knock-on benefits for potato farmers, downstream industry linkages, foreign exchange earnings and food security.
AgDevCo has invested over US$100 million in 58 agribusinesses in sub-Saharan Africa to date, connecting more than 240,000 farmers to markets and generating 7,675 jobs.