The award comes at a pivotal time for YamBEEji, which is launching its new brand in September of this year. YamBEEji’s rice production in the North Western province of Zambia is increasing rapidly thanks to local farmers, existing partnerships with the Zambia rice federation, the Zambia Chamber for Small and Medium Business Associations (ZACSMBA) and the Dutch NGO SNV. YamBEEji targets very strong growth by extending its market reach to supermarket chains, hotels and lodges, and businesses across the country. The process is having a great impact on local communities guaranteeing food security and long-term development for all stakeholders.
Between the 2nd and 6th of August, visitors at the Trade Show could experience the unique taste of YamBEEji’s aromatic rice. "Winning this award has not only attracted lively attention from a marketing and advertising perspective, it also means that the people recognize the unique quality of our rice" says Chibbonta Chilala, CEO and Founder of YamBEEji.
In May 2012, Alternative Investments Africa (ALTVEST) acquired a majority stake in YamBEEji, which has been in existence since 2006. "Right from the start we saw the potential to become the consolidator for small-holder rice farmers in Zambia; we were excited by the prospects of national and international expansion and this award clearly validates the quality of YamBEEji’s rice products. This is a major milestone and support to our business plan" says Tichaona Seremani, CEO of ALTVEST.
ALTVEST, a Mauritius-domiciled private equity firm with offices in London, Harare, and Lusaka, is actively involved in the development of small to mid-scale agro businesses in Sub-Saharan Africa. The firm consists in a very international team with extensive experience in finance, agriculture, management, strategy and marketing; ALTVEST provides its portfolio companies with a holistic support that goes much beyond simple financing.