Palm oil production starts

Palm oil production starts

ZAMPALM Plantation, a Zambeef subsidiary in Muchinga Province, has started commercial production of crude palm oil.  This has excited local processors.
The development signals a significant reduction in the country’s dependence on crude palm oil and edible oil imports.
Zambeef board chairman Jacob Mwanza said the quality of the palm oil is already impressing buyers such as Global Industries, a Zambian company producing cooking oil.
Palm oil is the world’s most used and versatile vegetable oil and the source tree is the most efficient oil-producing plant and can be harvested for 25 years.
Dr Mwanza said, in a statement issued by Langmead & Baker yesterday, current imports of palm oil are over US$70 million (K511 million) every year, which the country could save.
Zambia consumes around 120,000 tonnes of cooking oil but only produces 30 to 50 percent of the total supply.
More than half of Zambia’s edible oil is imported from the Far East, East Africa and South Africa.
“We are very excited about the opportunities and possibilities the venture presents for both the company and the country. For the first time we will have quality palm oil being produced, refined and sold locally,” Dr Mwanza said.
He said Zampalm could generate more than US$170 million in revenue over the next decade at current prices and at an average production of three to 3.5 tonnes per hectare.
Global Industries Limited chief executive officer Malolan Sampath says the company is happy because it will now stop importing crude palm oil.
“We are very happy to be working with Zambeef to bring Zambian palm oil to the market. Their quality of oil is outstanding and the initiative will allow us to move away from crude palm oil imports and thus be able to be more competitive in terms of our finished products,” said Mr Sampath.
The Zampalm project was launched in 2009 and in 2015 Zampalm commissioned its first US$1 million crushing mill plant.

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