Start of soya trading with smallholder farmers

Soya purchases from small-scale farmers underway 

Amatheon promotional signage

In the second quarter of 2022, Amatheon Agri Zambia has begun buying soya beans, maize and sunflower seeds from smallholder farmers with the aim of increasing the overall trading volume in the region and to allow smallholder farmers to benefit from the favourable market conditions.

The company has already purchased 300 MT of soya beans and plans to procure up to 1,500 MT in June. Up to 3,000 farmers could benefit from Amatheon’s procurement activity. Soya prices are currently high in Zambia as the region – and world at large – struggles to manage the combination of global freight delays, ongoing war in the Ukraine and the COVID19 pandemic.

Product portfolio expansion

Farmer off-loading soya beans at Amatheon’s farm

Amatheon Agri Zambia’s Outgrower Programme is primarily focused on the cultivation of high-value products  such as chillies and organically-certified grains, such as chia and quinoa. It is managed through a contract-farming model, whereby the farmer is provided with inputs, agricultural support and fixed offtake prices for better planning and production. The company has decided to capitalise on the current soya market and widen its buying basket to include it.

The sourcing is arranged through two buying points on Amatheon Agri Zambia’s farm with officially calibrated weighbridges – so sellers can observe correct weighing of the soya. Flyers are printed and distributed in nearby villages. For farmers who are unable to deliver to the company’s farm, in-village aggregation and collection is also possible, with scales being calibrated so both buyer and seller can confirm the weight.

Commercial harvest upside

Soya harvest on Amatheon’s commercial farm in Zambia

“These opportunities are truly win-win scenarios for local farmers and Amatheon, as both can increase their margins and benefit from our infrastructure, which enables this kind of relationship,” says Amatheon Agri Holding N.V.’s CEO and Founder, Carl Heinrich Bruhn.

The company is almost halfway through its commercial soya harvest and has offtake agreements in place. In addition, Amatheon Agri Zambia has recently been certified as a soya seed multiplyer, and as a result has been able to enter the lucrative soya seed business. This additional upside is on top of the currently high prices.