NEF COVID-19 FUND supports maize producer, Imphuphu Mills
In the wake of the devastating impact of the COVID-19 national disaster, the NEF COVID Fund has approved funding to the value of R1.52 million to Imphuphu Mills, a micro-milling company based in Winterton,Kwa-Zulu Natal.
Imphuphu Mills is a 100% black owned milling company which produces and supplies maize meal to communities around Weenan, Dundee and Ladysmith, in KZN. The company was established in 2009 and has 20% ownership by black women.
“The NEF capital injection of R1.52 million will enable the acquisition of a de-germinator which will speed up production and minimise breakages. A de-germinator is a machine used for breaking open the kernels of wheat or other grain and removing germs, bran and grits. This device separates the germs, bran and grits for the husk of a cereal grain and is essential in agro-processing,” explains Ms Zama Khanyile, NEF head of uMnotho Fund.
Imphuphu Mills operates in the second phase of the maize industry as a micro milling plant in the largely untransformed sector and food chain. The company sources raw materials from local farmers in KZN in the Okhahlamba Local Municipality and from brokers that source from the SAFEX (South African Futures Exchange), a division of the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) .The company supplies their own brand of maize meal to retailers in KZN and 20% of their product supplies walk-in clients from the Winterton community.
Maize is the third most planted crop in the world and is one of the most important crops in South Africa because it forms part of the staple food in the majority of the country’s households. South Africa is the most active and the largest producer of maize in the Southern African region and is also SADC’s largest exporter of the product, having generated R27 billion revenue in 2017, according to the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry.
Imphuphu Mills CEO, Mr. Samuel Malindi, says “we have 2 main contributors to annual turnover, with more than 70% of the revenue earned from maize meal, while 30% comes from cash customers. Imphuphu Mills provides maize meal in the KZN region and we have one client in Maputo, Mozambique. The company offers competitive pricing and the brand is well liked by the target market. We also produce animal feed as a by-product which is sold to local farmers. We produce samp but this is a small part of the revenue. Imphuphu Mills produces approximately 4100 tons of maize per annum, amounting to 2 tons per hour, and this funding by the NEF will enable us to do more, and we are truly excited for the future”.
Ms Khanyile says “the loan will support a total of 20 jobs, 9 of which are new. In addition. A total of 3 jobs are created per 5 hectares of farmland and this will lead to approximately 2 356 jobs for farmworker in KZN”. She says in terms of the emergency funding application criteria the NEF is supporting a black owned and managed company which is providing an essential food product under the COVID 19 Fund priority list, with the aim of creating and sustaining employment and deepening black economic participation.