The 2018 Agri-tech Expo which took place at the Gart Research Centre in Central Province’s Chisamba district, brought together a number of trade missions to both exhibit their products and provide business solutions.
The Agri-tech expo which is the only business-to-business hub in Zambia, drew together a coalition of farmers of all scales, cooperatives, donors and investors that assured government of their commitment to supporting the country’s diversification programme from copper dependence to agriculture.
The three-day even which was held under the theme “working together to build a stronger Zambian agricultural sector” also attracted a cattle management firm called Cattle Wealth Management (CWM), which was exhibiting for the first time.
Firm Director Joel Chitambala, explained to News Diggers in an interview during the exhibition how his company ranches cattle on behalf of people who find the animal business too complicated or simply dirty.
“This company is in the business of keeping cattle on behalf of customers who want to grow cattle but do not have the time or the technical know-how to do so. We also keep cattle for individuals who want to do cattle farming but do not have the land. So the way we operate, a customer will buy a cow from us, then we will keep the cow for the customer for four years. In that four years,we shall feed it, do all the vet, vaccination, deeping of the animal and the customer will not pay us anything apart from the purchase cost of K6500 for that cow. After four years, we grow the customer’s herd by doubling it. So if the customer bought five cows, we will give him ten, if a customer bought 20 cows, we will give him 40 after the four years,” Chitambala explained.
He expressed confidence that the business model that his firm had come up would change the management of cattle in Zambia and encourage many more people to venture into cattle farming.
“This model that we are using is going to better the model that currently exists where people keep cows at our uncles’ farms in the villages and those cows never multiply but they just die. Our business model is going to change cattle farming in Zambia. This is an empowerment tool, and today with this model, every Zambian can own a cow on our farm. In fact, the biggest challenge that this firm is going to face is land because today, using natural grazing, one cow can use one hector. So on our farm, we only have 2 thousand cows. So beyond that, we need more land. So we are soliciting for more but it’s not just easy to own land in Zambia,” Chitambala said.
Even though a number of business complained that this year’s expo lacked the exhilarating touch, Chitambala said his firm had a great experience.
“This is our first exhibition here at Agri-tech expo, but we’ve been keeping cattle for eight years on our farm and this particular model, we started it this year to extend this farming model to individuals. So this is an innovative product on the market and the response has been good, we’ve met a number of our clients who have been following us on Facebook. We have sold some cows here, so for us this show has been very successful. A lot of people are surprised with the model we use to raise cattle because they never knew that cows could be kept while sitting in the comfort of our houses in town without having to worry about the health of your animals because someone is already taking care of that. So this has been a very good show for us and we will be here next year,” said Chitambala.
Cattle Wealth Management Firm was founded by a management team with vast experience in livestock management, specializing in cattle ranching, business development and accounting. The team also includes, Late president Levy Mwanawasa’s daughter Chipokota.