Company ProfileChisamba Ranching and Cropping (CRC)
Chisamba Ranching and Cropping (CRC) is an integrated mixed ranching and cropping operation that specialises in both agricultural production and in the provision of affordable protein to the wholesale and retail markets. CRC also has a subsidiary called Zambian Pig Genetics Ltd which is a swine breeding company and this has an established extension service model.
CRC is involved in the following value chains: 1. Pigs 2. Crops 3. Beef 4. Poultry 5. Feed ingredients (soya, Maize bran, sunflower).
CRC grows a number of crops on its main farm in Chisamba, much of which goes into their feed for their cattle feedlots, they also buy feed inputs from smallholder farmers, namely sunflower cake. CRC purchases cattle from the farmers, after which they undertake feed lotting, slaughter, processing and distribution into their wholesale and retail outlets. Currently, these include third-party retailers and wholesalers, but the strategy is to reduce this and push all of its abattoir products through its own distribution network in time. CRC is also engaged in buying inputs and selling products in Central and Copperbelt Provinces and not just the Western province and in total it works with 831 smallholder farmers currently.
With support from EZCF, CRC aims to integrate 3800 additional smallholder farmers into various agri-value chains: 1000 women in point of lay value chains, 1300 cattle smallholder farmers into beef value chains, and 1500 maize, soya, sunflower smallholder farmers into stockfeed value chains. The project can be broken down into four main aspects over the next three years.
- The first deals with scaling of the feed lotting and abattoir/processing capacity in terms of size and geography, with a focus on the Western Province and smallholder farmers therein (benefits to smallholder farmers are increase in quality and productivity, market linkages and competition between on price).
- The second deals with increasing logistics capacity and expansion of CRC’s wholesale/retail network (there is no direct benefit to smallholder farmers here but the enhanced market system will create more demand for their product and more income).
- The third is development and improvement of CRC’s feed production facilities (CRC is and plans to scale up sourcing feed inputs from crop smallholder farmers and providing them with extension services as well).
- The fourth is a novel expansion into a point of lay chicken operation (this is targeted at women and is a way for women smallholder farmers to generate their own income and not be dependent on the males in their households, but also it will increase the availability of chicken eggs and decrease their cost contributing to nutritional security and improved nutrition for early childhood development.
Marketing, impact on people and the environment;
The organization’s product range is wide enough to distribute or minimize its sensitivity to price fluctuations. Finally, CRC supplies more than two types of customers and it has successfully used a mix of marketing channels to reach its customers.
CRC has extensive circular economy practices in place that have resulted in tangible improvements in yields in their cropping business – use of cattle/pig/chicken manure and blood from the slaughterhouse to create bio-fertilisers for their 1200 hectares of crops. The company also has biodegradable packaging for its end consumers and it minimises the amount of packaging it uses leaving the meat unpackaged even in the butchery until the consumer actually wants to take it out of store.
The number of potential smallholder farmers to benefit is 3800 and this is a conservative estimate. CRC also sources stockfeed inputs from smallholder farmers and cattle from the farmers meaning the base of the pyramid households are also incorporated into the business model as suppliers and consumers.