ATMS Project supports development of Kilombero Plantation Company

Rice harvesting in Kilombero Plantations

For the period of 14 years this farm was leased to a series of tenants who failed to develop it and resulted to elephant grass & trees grew back over much of the cleared area while over two thousand squatters moved into parts of the titled area. Kilombero Plantation Ltd (KPL) took over running of the farm in November 2007 when only 400ha of the farm was being commercially farmed.

In January 2008 the UNDP/Africa Training & Management Services (ATMs) project intervention commenced with the secondment of business development director Mr Graham Anderson to KPL’s parent company Agrica Tanzania Ltd. In 2008, Africa Management &Services Company (AMSCO) seconded an additional manager, Mr Carter Coleman, to the post of managing director in the same company. In 2009, AMSCO seconded the first manager to Kilombero Plantations Ltd Mr Murray Dempsey as crop production manager, and in the same year, Mr Stanley Ngugi was seconded in the position of post-harvest management.

At the commencement of the project contract, AMSCO’s  project deliverables included; 5,000ha under rice farming, construction of cleaning, drying, milling, and storage facilities to handle high production volumes, employ over 400 people, and building the capacity within Tanzania that will enable replication of the KPL model in other projects in the country.

After the projects interventions, the company managed to put under cultivation, over 4000 ha of rice by 2011, and owning cleaning and drying facilities with the capacity of handling 2,000 tons of rice and established one turbine of Hydro electric power plant providing sufficient power for office and residential use.

However KPL in collaboration with International Crop Research Center for Semi Arid Tropics established demonstration plots for system of rice intensification (SRI), a technology which is used to increase the smallholder yields from 2 to 8 tons and already 250 farmers were involved. The Company is now the leading rice producer in East Africa It has become a case study for the country in terms of demonstrating effective commercial farming and integration of commercial farms with small scale holders.

 ''ATMS project has been critical in the development of KPL  by helping to source expertise that is not available in East Africa, particularly in the areas of large-scale mechanized farming and post-harvest processing. It helps to reduce the additional Africa risk and high-cost environment by identifying excellent managers and reducing the cost to employ them through the long development phase of a new project.’’said Mr Carter Coleman,CEO of Agrica (parent company for KPL).

‘'Primary agricultural production is difficult to finance under the best of circumstances given that new farms are capital intensive, long time horizon, high risk and generate modest returns. For Africa to join the world's agricultural powerhouses, agribusiness will need to import expertise cost-effectively and train local managers in high productivity to eventually fill their shoes’. Added mr Carter

Kilombero Plantations Limited (KPL) is a 5,000 hectare commercial rice farm with 4,000 satellite smallholder out growers.

Since Tanzania signed up to the UNDP/ATMS Project,30 local enterprises have been assisted and they have shown a general trend of improved performance as measured by revenue growth, profitability growth and jobs creation resulting in increased tax revenue to the government (corporate taxes and PAYE taxes) and considerable skills transfer to Tanzanian nationals.

The project was initiated in 1989 by UNDP Regional bureau for Africa (RBA) and is being implemented by the (AMSCO). Their aim was to provide human capital solutions that lead to wealth creation via the private sector and commercially operated state enterprises

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