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July 24, 2011

Zambian coffee company diversifies into wheat

by Nancy Mwape

Zambia's Northern Coffee Corporation Limited (NCCL), formerly Kasama Coffee which has started operations is expected to produce over 2,000 tonnes of wheat valued at US$1.4 million.

NCCL operations manager Brahim Banda said the company and anticipates to harvest the 2,024 tonnes next month.

Mr Banda said the company has since employed 500 workers, a number that is expected to increase to 1,000 once full production of coffee resumes in the next five years.

Kasama Coffee was liquidated two years ago and has since been restructured with Zanaco Bank owning 49 percent, Standard Chartered Bank 42 percent and Government through the Zambia Development Agency having nine percent shares.

Mr Banda said that NCCL has planted 368 hectares of winter wheat.He said after the harvest, the company will grow 512 hectares of soybeans to produce 1,792 tonnes.

“NCCL will be the largest producer of both coffee and soybeans in the Northern Province once we harvest…the price of coffee is good on the market, it is about US$525 to US$600 per tonne,” he said.

The company’s core business to produce Arabica coffee from on 512 hectares of land under centre pivot in the next three years.

Mr Banda said full production of coffee will start in the next three years to produce 1,500 tonnes of exportable coffee beans.

Preparations for a coffee nursery have started at Kateshi and Insanya estates. Two huge nurseries will accommodate 1,226,675 coffee seedlings to be planted this year and will be ready for re-planting in August 2012.

“Government has pumped in US$1.2 million, things are back to life. The future of the company looks very bright,” Mr Banda said.

Zambia Daily Mail

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