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December 30, 2010

Agriterra update of Mozambique grain processing and cattle ranching operations


Agriterra Ltd, an AIM-listed company focussed on the agricultural sector in central and southern Africa, is pleased to announce a positive update on its grain processing and cattle ranching operations in Mozambique.

Operations at the main DECA facility at Chimoio continue to perform strongly with demand for product above average historical levels

Sales of processed maize meal for October and November totalled US$2.5 million

Demand for bran, the milling by-product used primarily for animal feed, is increasing weekly, both from local consumers and for export to Zimbabwe

At the Compagri facility in the Tete Province, both buying and processing operations continue to be ramped up.

The export market for maize meal produced at Compagri is increasing and it is currently processing an order for 3,000 tonnes of grain and 1,000 tonnes of maize meal for Zimbabwe. Maize meal deliveries to Zimbabwe are now being made and local sales are also increasing.

The Vanduzi feedlot has commenced limited production with the first animals delivered for slaughter to the Beira abattoir in early December. Slaughter dress out weight percentages were between 58% and 63% which is approximately 10% above expected rates. Average sale price achieved per animal was more than US$900.

Demand for quality beef on the local market continues to significantly exceed supply and the Company is aggressively expanding its feedlot operation to help meet this demand.

Maize planting is underway on 200 hectares of recently cleared land to supply feed to the feedlot.

Negotiations with abattoir suppliers based in Holland are underway in order to secure the Company’s own slaughtering facilities. Further feed pens are under construction and bush clearing programmes are progressing well.

The Dombe and Mavonde ranches have recorded 238 calves born in recent months with more expected and all cattle are regarded as being in exceptionally good condition. Scaling up buying operations of Beefmaster cattle with a target herd size of 10,000 head

Agriterra Executive Director Euan Kay said, “We remain extremely upbeat about our operations in Mozambique, in particular with the progress made at Mozbife. The sale of our first cattle at in excess of US$900 per carcass emphasises the financial returns possible for an established beef ranching operation in Mozambique and the huge potential of Mozbife. Birth rates are strong and with development in all areas of the business progressing at pace, including securing our own feed and negotiating the establishment of an abattoir, we believe these early successes will continue and that we will fulfil our aim of becoming one of the country’s largest producers of beef. This will greatly complement our maize processing operations which are performing well ahead of our expectations both in the domestic supply and export areas.”

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