Lonrho Plc, the conglomerate with a structured portfolio of African investments, is pleased to announce that it's wholly owned agricultural subsidiary Lonrho Agriculture has made significant progress on its strategy towards vertically integrating its operations. It continues to become a significant producer, processor and deliverer of agricultural products from the African continent to key African and European and Middle Eastern markets.
The company announced today that it has signed a development agreement with the Angolan Government to develop 25,000 hectares of agricultural projects in Angola.
Lonrho Agriculture has signed an Agreement with His Excellency Engineer Alfonso Pedro Canga, the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development of Angola and Carlos Alberto Jaime, the Director of Gesterra, Gestao de Terras Aravais, the Government Agricultural Promotion agency.
The agreement is for the development by Lonrho Agriculture of 25,000 hectares of agricultural projects in the Provinces of Uige, Zaire and Bengo in Angola. This will be in close co-operation with the Government of Angola and work closely with the Governments initiatives to promote agricultural reconstruction and development.
Lonrho agriculture is also currently undertaking feasibility studies in co-operation with the Governments of Malawi and Mali for 25,000 hectares of agricultural land on the banks of Lake Malawi and for a five year potential development of up to 100,000 hectares in the Niger Delta in Mali.
Logistics and Agri Processing
Lonrho Agriculture remains focused on developing international standard agri processing, storage and handling facilities that meet stringent European import requirements and developing and operating the necessary chilled logistics networks to ensure that fresh produce from Africa can reach markets in Europe and elsewhere in prime condition.
Lonrho Agriculture's existing 'Rollex' operation has expanded it's processing and packing operations from 3,500m2 to 4,908m2 to meet expected demand. The facility is located airside at Johannesburg International in South Africa.
This facility's revenues in the 12 months ending December 2008 have increased by 25% over the corresponding period. The company is a major supplier to the South African market and major retailers in Europe including Marks & Spencer and Tesco.
The previously announced 1,810m2 fruit salad processing line at the Johannesburg facility is now delivering processed fruit salad in South Africa and opening lucrative export markets in Europe. The fruit salad facility is forecast to add turnover of US$ 20 million to the Rollex operations in 2009.
The 480m2 cold store and export processing facility in Windhoek, Namibia, has surpassed expectations and now exports 15 tons of fresh fish from Windhoek to Frankfurt and Gatwick on a daily basis.
The company's agricultural engineering consultants MBB have recently completed site surveys for the new cold store and agri processing facility that the company announced that it is developing at Lilongwe, Malawi to commence the delivery of produce from Malawi to service the fast growing Middle East market.
Further agri processing facilities are under negotiation and planned to be developed in Harare in Zimbabwe, the Niger delta in Mali and Luanda in Angola.
David Lenigas, Lonrho's Executive Chairman commented:
"Lonrho sees the potential for growth in the agricultural sector in Africa as a significant and real opportunity. Lonrho had a long tradition in large scale agriculture in Africa. We believe that Lonrho Agriculture provides the ability to successfully vertically integrate the market, enabling the company to produce, source, process, pack and deliver produce from across the Continent to markets in Africa, Europe and the Middle East.
"It is the vertical integration of the African agricultural industry that is the key to success. It is the ability to not only grow produce, but to deliver it to a global market that will meet the growing shortages of food production."