Mpatsa Holdings Limited has partnered the Green Belt Authority (GBA) in a deal aimed at establishing a K100 billion share capital mega farms initiative.
The partnership has culminated in the establishment of a special purpose vehicle dubbed Mpatsa Greenbelt Mega Farms Limited (MGMF) which will have three components of agriculture, value addition and commodities trading.
A strategic business plan for the initiative, that we have seen, shows that Mpatsa Holdings will have 60 percent shareholding in the company, with the other 40 held by GBA.
Among other things, Mpatsa Holdings has put in 700 hectares (ha) of land from its Khonjeni farm in Thyolo District, Rathdrum Farm of 350ha and 420ha Namadzi Estates in Zomba District.
Mpatsa Holdings Limited Chief Executive Officer Jimmy Korea Mpatsa said the company will commence operations this season with 800 hectares of land committed to maize production and another 200 hectares to Soya production.
He said the idea is to put the farms under irrigation to be able to alternate crop production starting from next year.
“The idea is that we should be doing three cycles of crops per year; for example, if we plant 1,000ha of maize under rain-fed, immediately after harvest in April we plant another 1,000ha of soya and after harvest in July, we will plant maize again and so on and so forth,” he said.
GBA Chief Executive Officer Eric Chidzungu said the government is committed to making an initial investment of K6.7 billion.
“We want to start this season, at least grow some maize, so that we contribute to food security.
“Apart from that, we have some high value crops we will be producing using irrigation farming,” Chidzungu said.