The joint venture will establish an agricultural corporation called Katonga Farm Limited and the project will include clearing and cultivating maize, wheat and soya bean over 27mn sqm of unutilised land. It will also involve construction of irrigation facilities and transportation of harvested produce, both of which will provide employment to locals in the area. The company will also provide guidance in agriculture to farmers in the surrounding region and provide sales assistance to them.
The partnership between the two companies is part of the development of Amatheon’s existing 400mn sqm farm block. Amatheon Agri Group will be the majority stakeholder in the project and also the operating partner of the joint venture. Carl Heinrich Bruhn, CEO of Amatheon Group, explained that the project represents a shared understanding by both companies for responsible and profitable investment in the growing agricultural sector of southern Africa. “We are excited about this partnership and we look forward to leveraging Toyota's extensive technical know-how and international network with Amatheon Group's expertise and sound operating procedures,” he said.
Bruhn added that as part of its sustainable development objectives, the joint venture will engage in the support of local smallholder farmers by providing them with training and access to markets. He also said that plans to implement a large-scale irrigation project have already been approved by the Zambian Environmental Management Agency, and that consequently, the operational phase of the project starts immediately.
Amatheon Agri is a German agribusiness and food company that operates sustainable agricultural projects in Zambia, Zimbabwe and Uganda, and also invests in the food processing sector. The international trading company Toyota Tsusho is a part of Japan’s Toyota Group and is already active in 53 countries in Africa.