Silverlands Ranching Limited
On May 22, 2013, MIGA issued a guarantee of $8.8 million covering an equity investment by Silverlands Ireland Holdings (Z2) Limited of Ireland in Silverlands Ranching Limited in Zambia. The coverage is for a period of up to 10 years against the risks of transfer restriction, expropriation, and war and civil disturbance.
The project involves the acquisition of the assets of Foresythe Estates Limited, an existing 19,090 hectare cattle farm, located in Zimba, in the southern province of Zambia. The farm has been in operation for over 100 years and exclusively breeds, rears, and sells live cattle. The new owners intend to improve and expand the farm’s operations, including enlarging the current cattle herd and adding irrigation and feedlots.
Promoting agricultural growth and diversification has been identified as a key development challenge in the World Bank Group’s Country Partnership Strategy for Zambia. The vast majority of the very poor derive their livelihoods from subsistence smallholder agriculture, and overall agricultural productivity remains low. The Zambian government’s Sixth National Development Plan specifically identifies agriculture and livestock as potential growth areas that could unlock Zambia’s natural resource endowments to provide a basis for development.
In addition to contributing to Zambia’s overall agricultural development strategy, Silverlands Ranching Limited will offer assistance to smallholder farmers regarding immunization strategies for cattle belonging to local villagers, where mortality rates are much higher and calving rates are lower than commercial farms. This assistance to small-scale farmers in the area will help improve the quality of traditional cattle and will have a significant impact on Zambia’s overall production.
The new owners will also make significant investments to improve the farm’s infrastructure, including improving staff housing and sanitation and enhanced environmental management measures. The farm is expected to employ 125 local staff.
The project was underwritten through MIGA’s Small Investment Program and is aligned with MIGA’s strategic priority of supporting investments into countries eligible for assistance from the International Development Association.