BACKGROUND
The Kawambwa Plantation Group was the first commercial exotic forest plantation to be established by Zambia Forestry and Forest Industries Corporation (ZAFFICO) Limited outside the Copperbelt Province. It is launched on 14th January 2014 by the Minister of Finance, Honourable Alexander B. Chikwanda, MP.

LOCATION AND SIZE
The Kawambwa Plantation Group is located in Kawambwa District of Luapula Province. The site at which the launch for the Group took place is located approximately 25 kilometers from Kawambwa District Administrative offices along the Kawambwa/Mporokoso road.
The Group consists of two (2) parcels of land both located in His Royal Highness (HRH) Chief Munkanta’s area. The first is a 1,000 hectares piece of land located along the Kawambwa/Mporokoso road near Kawambwa Tea Estates while the second is a 20,000 hectares piece of land located 10 Kilometers north/west of the 1,000 hectares land. The 20,000 hectares stretches from Kapako area along the old Kawambwa/Mporokoso road on the south west and borders Lusenga plains national park on the north-west and the Kalungwishi River to the north.

CURRENT OPERATIONS
As already indicated above, the Kawambwa Plantation Group was launched on 14th January 2014. A total of 430 hectares of land was planted as at the end of the 2014/2015 planting season and it is planed that a further 200 hectares be planted by the end of the 2015/2016 planting season. Furthermore, the Group has a nursery with capacity to raise 600,000 seedlings.

ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL BENEFITS
The Kawambwa Plantation Group has already emerged as one of the major employers of Kawambwa residents. More than 350 seasonal employees earning a monthly income of not less than a minimum wage have been engaged to carry out various plantation activities from the time the operations commenced towards the end of the year 2013.
Considering that operations at the Kawambwa Tea Estate have been suspended for some time now, the livelihood of most households in the District as well as the general economy of the District is now dependent on the Kawambwa Plantation Group.
It is estimated that over 4,000 jobs will be created once the Group is fully established.