Chayton Atlas Investments
- Region: Africa
- Country: Zambia
- Sector: Food and agribusiness
- Year: 2012
- Domicile: Mauritius
- Instrument: Equity
- Commitment (MNOK) as of 31.12.2016: 161.6
- Original Commitment (MNOK): 161.6
Agrivision Africa (the new name for Chayton Atlas Investment) is a vertically integrated agribusiness company operating in local and regional markets in Zambia.
Established in 2009, the company’s operations began with the purchase of a farm with 210 ha under irrigation. Agrivision rapidly developed the farm, and in September 2011 Norfund made its first equity investment.
Agrivision’s contribution to development
Agrivision’s farms produce 10 per cent of Zambia’s annual wheat consumption. The company's potential for increasing food production, supporting job creation, and promoting rural development fits well with the Zambian government’s strategic priorities. Conservation farming methods and modern technology are central to Agrivision’s operations and have helped to increase its wheat, maize, and soya bean production.
Equity investments from Norfund have enabled Agrivision’s expansion to continue. The company has acquired other underperforming large-scale farms in Zambia’s Copperbelt Province, and now has 6,347 ha under cultivation. Agrivision has become a key regional staple food producer, supplying food to the Copperbelt Province in Zambia, and the Katanga Province in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
The market for maize, soya and wheat in Zambia and neighbouring countries is large and Agrivision is keen to scale up its operations to meet demand.
Providing market access for smallholders and availability of quality food
In 2013, Agrivision acquired Mpongwe Milling in Kitwe, a plant with an annual production capacity of 60,000 tonnes of milled maize, and 16,000 tonnes of milled wheat. The mill sources most of its maize from smallholder maize farmers.
The mill plays an important role in ensuring the availability of staple food in local and regional markets: wheat processed here is for national consumption and export, and the maize is primarily for national markets.
Modern laboratory equipment at the mill enables staff to undertake thorough assessments to ensure the consistent quality of its raw materials and its finished goods.
Creating jobs throughout the value chain
By the end of 2015, Agrivision’s farms employed a total of 318 permanent staff. A further 289 people were offered temporary employment during the 2015 harvesting season. The farm employees enjoy benefits such as housing, schooling, and coverage for medical expenses.
Mpongwe Milling provides direct employment to another 197 people, and contributes to indirect job creation through its distribution channels.