Company ProfilePlant Health Agri Limited

Lusaka based Plant Health Agri Ltd (PHAL) is a Zambian owned private company. Its core business is to import and distribute crop protection and nutritional products to large scale farmers (90% of revenue in 2021) and smallholder farmers (10% of revenue in 2021). PHAL aims to increase smallholder farmers revenue share to 60%. To assist sales, PHAL provides extension services on Good Agricultural Practices. PHAL reaches smallholder farmers through agro-dealers where their products are stocked. It also supplies products through the government’s Farmer Input Support Program and participates in field days along with other input providers. Its sales represent 1.2% of the Zambian market.

With support from ENTERPRSE Zambia Challenge Fund, Plant Health Agri Ltd will be implementing the proposed project in Senga in year 1 and expanded to Mbala in year 2. Farmers in these areas have had very little exposure to use of agrochemicals and little access to formal markets for their produce. The project has two components;

  1. The first is to provide 5,000 farmers with extension services for several crops as well as solar drying facilities, allowing farmers to harvest twice a year and sell produce when the price is the highest.
  2. The second project component involves 2,000 female farmers who will be contracted into a bean seed outgrower scheme, using the lead farmer model. Each farmer will receive all the necessary inputs on loan (worth EUR300) to cultivate 1/2 ha of beans and produce approximately 1 ton a year. PHAL will sign contracts to buy 80% of the bean seeds each farmer produces for EUR750 per ton. This is significantly more than what farmers get for beans if they are not aggregated (+-EUR550). PHAL has signed a contract with a large seed company to sell the seeds for EUR1,000 per ton. As the project expands, PHAL plans to export the beans to South Africa and Botswana.

Marketing, impact on people and the environment;

Currently, agrochemicals are sold to agro-dealers who sell on to smallholder farmers. For the project, agrochemicals will be sold directly to smallholder farmers with PHAL establishing a presence in the project region. If the smallholder farmers in the outgrower scheme can produce enough beans to cover the cost of the inputs (EUR300), PHAL will earn income from them.

The company reaches about 1,000 smallholder farmers – providing advice and yield-improving products. Through the project, PHAL plans to have a large positive impact on 2,000 farmers who will be integrated into the bean value chain. Another 5,000 farmers will receive training and access to inputs – provided they can pay cash for them.

PHAL estimates 80% of smallholder farmers do not use any agrochemicals as they believe the chemicals are harmful to their land. At the same time, the proposed project will target farmers in Northern Province where slashing and burning, and tilling is practiced by farmers. Thus, PHAL may have a positive impact by encouraging other climate smart practices.

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Sector: Legumes 

Target Smallholders: 1,500

Target Jobs: 64 full time jobs