Novatek is gearing up to support Mpongwe poultry farmers


The market for animal feed, especially for poultry feed, is showing spectacular growth. This trend allowed Novatek to build a brand new plant in Mpongwe, equipped with state of the art technology.

We visited the Novatek plant in Lusaka in November last year and they are still running at maximum capacity. Since Mpongwe also falls within a huge commercial and emerging farming block, Novatek chose this vicinity to establish the new plant.

Since Novatek belongs to Zambeef, it made sense to build the plant on their farm, right next to the town. The plant concentrates on producing feed for non-ruminants such as poultry and pigs. For poultry, the whole series of feed, from day-old chicks to parent stock, will be produced. Feed will be produced either in the form of mash or pellets.

The project was launched five years ago as part of the Zamhatch investment into a hatchery on the farm, and stalled after some difficulties, but now the end is in sight. Six months ago, Johan Wolhuter arrived in Mpongwe. He is in charge of completing this huge operation. He is an animal nutritionist, but since he grew up on a farm, he is also acquainted with project management, like any good farmer should be.

Novatek didn’t play around when designing the plant. The facility is capable of producing 20 tonnes an hour, (130 000 tonnes per year) and the heart of the plant is a batch mixer delivering two tonnes every four minutes. The rest of the complex system of raw product silos, transporting systems, cleaners, hammer mills, a conditioner, extruders, premix bins, a pelletiser, dryer and finally the final product silos with the bulk filling and bag filling plant is seven storeys high. A full length weigh bridge will ensure that every tonne of raw material and every finished product will carry the correct weight label.

Novatek receives the maize and wheat bran from the local mills. The premixes and phosphates come from South Africa. The calcium source is feed grade lime coming from a new mine in Mpongwe. Other components like maize and soy beans are locally sourced. But building a feed plant in Zambia is not about production only. The positive impact on the community is immense. Novatek will create 150 new jobs, and brand new houses will be built on the farm for all their staff. “One of my big projects is to build two small villages close to the plant,” Johan says.

“One is for the general workers and the other one for the more senior staff. Every house will have running water and electricity. The need for jobs in Mpongwe is huge and we shall make a big dent in unemployment in this area. Since the plant has a bag-handling facility for smaller-scale farmers, many manual labourers will be required.”

Novatek is the leader in producing state of the art animal feeds. Contact our Sales Manager at +26 097-877-9017 or e-mail

The minerals and trace elements will be placed in an easy to operate, failproof micro dosing system with a large screen and digital locks.

Johan Wolhuter standing next to the heart of the mixing plant – a 2 tonne batch mixer. 30 different components can be included and every cycle takes four minutes.

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