Netherlands and German development banks FMO and DEG have provided a US$13mn debt facility to Zambeef to finance its expansion and modernisation programmes.

A DEG spokesperson tells GTR: “This facility will allow Zambeef to expand and increase its efficiency and capacity of primary production facilities and to expand its retailing and wholesaling distribution channels in order to increase market penetration in the region. The group contributes to development by utilising land effectively, generating more food for Zambia and thereby alleviating poverty.”

Beyond pure finance, DEG has advised Zambeef how to improve hygiene and environmental and social performance with the aim of strengthening the firm’s market position and setting an example for the region.

DEG made available US$5mn for the Zambian food producer’s construction of a wheat mill and bakery in 2006. The bank also arranged long-term financing totalling US$25mn in 2009 for Zambeef’s wheat mill expansion and for the development of a palm oil plantation. DEG itself made available US$6.25mn.

This is FMO’s first loan to Zambia’s agriculture sector.