SilverStreet invests in Zambian irrigation scheme

The African development investment firm is investing $1.8m into the scheme through its Silverlands Fund.

SilverStreet Capital, the African agriculture fund management firm, has invested $1.8 million into an irrigation scheme for crop and animal production in Zambia.

The investment was made out of the Silverlands Fund, which is part of the firm’s SilverStreet Private Equity Strategies SICAR (Société d’investissement en capital à risque).

The proposed project will help Zambia to manage its high demand for maize, wheat, soya beans and animal products, according to a press release.

“Agriculture is one of the priority sectors recognised by the government of the Republic of Zambia. Statistics show that 80 percent of the population is dependent on agriculture with about 70 percent of the country’s labour force being employed in the sector,” says the project description on the Zambia Environmental Management Agency (ZEMA)’s website. “Statistics show that there are very few private and public commercial irrigation schemes in Zambia compared to other countries in the region such as Zimbabwe.”  Silverlands will take advantage of this opportunity by investing in an agricultural development at its newly-acquired sub-division of Kakushi Farm, in the east of the country.

The project is expected to be implemented immediately following receipt of the necessary approvals from ZEMA by the end of August.

“The lifespan for the proposed project is indefinite as Silverlands has no intention of changing land use at the acquired farm,” the report says.

The Silverlands Fund’s objective is to generate long term returns by investing in companies with underlying agricultural assets in sub-Saharan Africa. The Fund invests across the value chain in the agricultural sector with a focus on farmland and primary production businesses.

“The fund seeks to make pioneering investments in animal husbandry and crop agriculture, and intends to unlock the potential of agricultural land in Zambia by investing in new developments,” the report says. Its goals include developing water infrastructure to improve food export, achieving economies of scale through the creation of service businesses along the value chain, improving conditions for the workers and their families by creating more jobs and providing skills transfer at the local level by offering on-the-job training.

SilverStreet Capital is an investment management firm focuses on Africa and the agricultural sector. The firm makes impact investments primarily in central and southern Africa, according to its website.