Agriterra Ltd is an AIM listed agricultural company with five divisions: beef, maize, cocoa, fruit and palm oil. Its cattle ranching business, Mozbife, has a herd in excess of 6,200 head, a land holding of over 21,000 hectares, a feedlot, a 4,000 head per month capacity abattoir and retail units. In addition to selling meat from its own herds, throughput for the feedlot and abattoir is supplemented with cattle bought in from local communities. The Company also owns a proximal banana plantation and macadamia orchard.
The agriculture and logistics specialist Agriterra (LON:AGTA) said this morning that its aggressive expansion strategy means its Mozambique beef herd now numbers 3,750. It is on course to be 10,000 head by 2015.
It said its prized beefmaster herd at Movonde totals 1,000 and is achieving US$1,100 per carcass.
A dam project near Movonde will increase the supply of water, therefore supporting the expansion programme. Meanwhile, land clearance at the Dombe Ranch will allow it to increase its capacity.
Separately, the company’s abattoir at the Mozbife operation near Chimoio is on course to open in August 2012.
The company is acquiring a turnkey slaughterhouse and meat processing plant from the Netherlands. The decision to vertically integrate will make the whole meat business a far more profitable one.
Agriterra director Euan Kay said: “The continued development of our Vanduzi feedlot and abattoir at Chimoio, in addition to establishing butchers' shops, are the key final elements in our vertically integrated beef business, enabling Mozbife to benefit from the full uplift in value for slaughtered and butchered products.
“With this in mind, as we move into the new financial year, I am confident that Mozbife will contribute a further high margin revenue stream, in addition to our maize and cocoa operations.
“These, together with the palm oil operations which we are establishing in Sierra Leone, will substantially enhance Agriterra's financial performance and value accretion potential moving forward."
Agriterra’s staple business is processing maize in Mozambique, but it has branched out into cattle and has acquired the rights to the Port of Conakry in Guinea.
Its plans are to become a “field to fork” producer of beef, though it also wants to branch out into other livestock such as chickens and goats.
Last month it outlined plans to expand its Sierra Leone cocoa trading business Tropical Farms Limited to 40 locations this year from 12 currently as part of an aggressive growth strategy. TFL will also extend its focus into coffee and palm oil.
Negotiations are already underway to secure a 15-acre site in the new airport development zone close to the capital Freetown, while advanced discussions are also taking place to acquire a cocoa plantation in the south-east of the country.
The group is well financed to roll out its ambitious plans after raising US$15 million last year from investors at 3 pence a share.