The irresistible allure of Zambian potato chips is spreading like wildfire across East Africa, with Uganda being the latest country to embrace this delectable snack. The Zambia Potato Company has emerged as a shining star in the international market, meeting the growing demand in the region and, in a remarkable feat, reversing the need to import chilled potato chips from South Africa. This article delves into the flourishing success story of Zambian potato chips and their growing presence in both the East African Community (EAC) and the Southern African Development Community (SADC) markets.
From Local Success to International Triumph:
Zambia Potato Company’s Country Sales and Business Development Manager, Mathews Kaubo, beams with pride as he reflects on the company’s phenomenal journey on the international stage. What began with an initial export of 27 metric tonnes of potato chips to the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has now evolved into a substantial market presence in the EAC and SADC regions.
A Rising Star:
Following successful exports to Kenya and Tanzania, Uganda has eagerly joined the list of nations placing orders for Zambian potato chips. In the SADC region, apart from the DRC, the company has been exporting to countries such as Malawi, Namibia, and South Africa, with South Africa standing as their largest market.
A Testament to Collaboration:
Mr. Kaubo acknowledges the pivotal role played by the Zambian Government and quasi-institutions like the Zambia Development Agency, Zambia Revenue Authority, and the Zambia Bureau of Standards. Their guidance and support have paved the way for the company to make its mark in the export market.
Impressive Growth Trajectory:
The Zambia Potato Company’s success story continues to unfold, with the company achieving a remarkable increase in exports from 750 tonnes in 2022 to approximately 1,850 metric tonnes. Their ambitious goal is to surpass these figures by year-end, reaffirming their dedication to quality and expansion.
Balancing Local and Global Markets:
To ensure a harmonious balance between catering to local and export markets, the company supplies chain stores nationwide while also serving local entrepreneurs through the Buya Bamba outlet on the outskirts of Lusaka City Market. Buya Bamba functions as an outgrower agent and distributor of raw potatoes, ensuring that the surplus production finds its way to international markets.
Supporting Local Farmers and the Economy:
The Zambia Potato Company’s commitment to bolstering the local economy is commendable. They have been exporting 50 tonnes of potato chips to countries like Botswana, Malawi, and Namibia. South Africa remains their largest market, closely followed by Kenya and the DRC. Since its inception in 2018 and commencement of production in 2019, the company has made a significant impact on job creation, employing 150 full-time staff, primarily women, at their Ngwerere factory in Chongwe District. Through outgrower schemes in Northern and Southern provinces, they have created hundreds of jobs, with farmers employing approximately eight people per hectare across more than 2,000 hectares.
The success of Zambian potato chips in East Africa and SADC markets is a testament to the quality and dedication of the Zambia Potato Company. Their commitment to supporting local farmers, boosting the national economy, and sustaining employment opportunities positions them as a shining example of excellence in the snack industry.
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