Exclusive interview with Joel Chitambala, a director at Cattle Wealth Management Firm, an innovative livestock management company and a new exhibitor at the upcoming Agritech Expo Zambia in Chisamba from 12-14 April 2017.
1. We hear you are one of the most innovative start-up farming businesses at Agritech Expo this year. What does Cattle Wealth do exactly?
Cattle Wealth Management Firm facilitates for individuals to be cattle owners and ranchers through the provision of cattle management services. Our business model allows for individuals to grow their own herds of cattle on our commercial ranches with 24-hour expert management. We identified a need in the agriculture sector specifically cattle ranching where we noticed that there are many Zambians who are passionate about cattle but were handicapped because they do not have land, resources or the time it requires to run a cattle farm. As Cattle Wealth Management Firm, we are providing a solution to this.
2. What makes your products and services competitive in the agri sector?
Our products and services are competitive in the agri sector because they give individuals an opportunity to invest in a novelty of a product against the common traditional investment in money markets. Our product is affordable, flexible with a better return and it’s an investment in what is Africa’s Green Gold – the agriculture sector.
Individuals don’t necessarily have to have land to own a cow. They don’t have to have a kraal to own a cow. They don’t need to have a herdsman or have the know how to own a cow. We at Cattle Wealth are saying we will do all this on their behalf at an affordable and reasonable once off purchase price of a cow on an agreement that we share in the offspring. We believe that this will work well for our clients as they will be no additional cash outlay. Our clients should just know that their herd is growing. Risks relating to factors such as diseases or death will all be taken care of by Cattle Wealth.
3. Where in Africa are you active? How important is Zambia as a market for you?
Zambia is our flagship market in the short to medium term phase. Our future expansion plans spread into the SADC region to begin with and eventually into Europe on a sustainable “farm to fork” model. This is based on the growing need from consumers who want to know where their food is coming from.
4. Which projects that you are involved in currently are you particularly excited about?
We are excited about our upcoming open field day on our farm in Chibombo’s Ipongo area which will allow for both existing and prospective clients to come out and see the cattle and farm operations side of Cattle Wealth Management Firm.
5. What in your view are the main challenges in the agri sector in Zambia at the moment?
There are various challenges in the agri sector in Zambia but the following stand out:
• The cost of doing business
• Land acquisition
• Access to finance
• Road Infrastructure
The cost of doing business remains high. Most agriculture inputs are VAT exempt making our cost of production very high. If the government could consider zero rating agriculture inputs it would allow us to claim input VAT. The positive result of this would be a reduced cost of doing business. It would also allow Zambian farmers to compete favorably with farmers in the region.
Land acquisition remains a challenge despite having a country that covers 752, 618 km2 with a population of approximately 16million people. This is due to the lack of a structured method of land distribution especially for promising agriculture businesses that need a significant amount of land to achieve the relevant impact in the industry.
Currently access to our farm has been a challenge due to the recent heavy rains due to the poor feeder road infrastructure.
6. And the main opportunities?
The main opportunities lie in the growing population not only in Zambia but as well as on the African continent as a whole. Africa’s population is projected to reach 2.2 billion by 2050 from its current 1.2 billion. As Cattle Wealth we are strategically placing ourselves to tap into Zambia’s eight land-linked countries that will provide an even larger market base in addition to the existing Zambian market which is yet to be exhausted.
Other opportunities in beef lie in the fact that food safety and particularly meat quality are becoming more and more of a requirement amongst consumers and this is an opportunity for all of us in the agri sector to ensure we are safety and quality compliant in order to have our products in the retail market.
7. What will be your message to prospective Cattle Wealth farmers at Agritech Expo Zambia?
Two words: invest today! Be part of the next generation of farmers and business leaders. Investing in cattle is worth more than gold.
8. Anything else you would like to add?
At Cattle Wealth Management Firm, we are offering an affordable product and service that allows individuals to buy and own their own cows through the provision of cattle management service on a sharing of offspring model. All this can be done through a once off purchase or via an installment facility – interest free. To find out more – look out for us and visit our stand at this year’s Agritech Expo!