Societe d'Investissement pour l'Agriculture Tropicale (SIAT)
Company Profile and History
Siat is an agro-industrial group of companies specializing in the establishment and management of industrial, as well as smallholders' plantations and allied processing and downstream industries. The main focus of the tree crops is on oil palms and rubber.
Nv Siat SA was incorporated under Belgian Law in 1991 and has a share capital of €10,000,000.00, fully subscribed and paid-up. Siat is active in Nigeria, Ghana, Gabon and Côte d'Ivoire. The head office is located in Brussels.
The group's main international bankers are: KBC Group, BMI/SBI (Belgium), DEG (Germany), the African Development Bank and the International Finance Corporation (IFC)
As a result of a privatisation exercise implemented by the Government of Gabon in 2003, Siat acquired Agrogabon, Hévégab and the Ranch of Nyanga. In 2004 the take-over convention for these enterprises was signed. Siat Gabon was created in order to accommodate the assets of these SOE’s.
The rubber activity of the company, located in the northern part of Gabon, consists of the Bitam Estate (2,500 ha mature rubber plantation), the Mitzic Estate (5,500 ha of mature rubber plantation) and the Kango Estate of 2,000 ha rubber plantation. It also includes 2,500 ha of mature out grower plantations. At Mitzic the company operates a crump rubber factory with a daily capacity of 80 tonnes.
The oil palm activity is located around Lambarene and Makouké, and comprises 6,500 ha of mature oil palm plantation, 700 ha of immature palm, a palm oil/palm kernel mill with a capacity of 30 tonnes ffb/hour, a soap factory of 15,000 tonnes per annum and a refinery/fractionation plant of 20,000 tonnes of oil per annum. Production is mainly meant for the domestic market.
The cattle ranch, located in the Province of Nyanga in the southern part of the country, comprises a concession of 100,000 ha. Presently, a herd of 3,000 cattle is meant to be increased to 20,000 over the next ten years. Two thousand heifers are presently being imported from Cameroon. It is also envisaged that approximately one third of the ranch area will be converted into an eco-tourism site.
In Country Location
Boulevard de L’Independence, Bord de mer, Rue du camp du police, Liberville, Gabon;
Telephone: +241 722 216;
Telefax: +241 722 217
Services and Products
Siat Gabon runs 10,000 ha of mature rubber plantations, 6,500 ha of mature oil palm plantations, a refinery/fractionation/soap/packaging plant of 20,000 tonnes of finished products/annum and a cattle ranch of 100,000 ha.
Number of Employees
2,100 employees in Gabon
SIAT Gabon) holds a monopoly on the production of edible oils, as well as the import and marketing of edible oils of non-CEMAC origin.
“The object of the company is to invest and manage agro-industrial ventures in the tropics”
“Siat seeks majority equity participation in the capital of private agro-industrial companies and provides management and engineering service. The company’s main strategies are: invest in the equity of agro-industrial companies; manage the agro-industrial complexes in which Siat has an equity interest; provide engineering services; and provide logistical support to its subsidiaries. Siat maintains close contacts with world class universities and research institutes in order to have access to the latest technological developments. “
Benefits Offered and Relations with Government
From 1975, the agro-industrial units established by the State dominated food production in Gabon. After turning out, for various reasons, to be unprofitable, most of them were wound up or privatized including those companies taken over by SIAT.
In the context of the objectives set by the Law on Development and Land-Use Planning (LDAT), namely, diversification of the Gabonese economy and the reduction of poverty, the Ministry of Agriculture has drawn up a new policy to support the development of the sector (including livestock and fisheries). The Master Plan for Agricultural Development (PDDA), adopted at the beginning of 2005, establishes a programme for the time-frame 2006-2015, the aim of which is a 45 per cent increase in agricultural production by 2015.
The PDDA gives priority to increasing agricultural production in peri-urban areas and to boosting village agriculture, livestock breeding, fisheries and the coffee-cocoa sector.
Currently, the main fiscal support measures for farmers and livestock breeders are: exemption from corporation tax for cooperatives and cooperative unions engaged in the production, processing, conservation and sale of agricultural products; exemption, for the first two years, from corporation tax and personal income tax, and an allowance against those taxes over the next four years, for new agricultural enterprises, excluding the forestry sector and fisheries; and exemption from the business licence fee (patente) for farmers/breeders, hunters, and fishermen, including those using dugout canoes.
With a view to preserving Gabonese jobs, some private agri-food enterprises still benefit from production or marketing monopolies hitherto held by recently privatized State-owned enterprises as well as from various concessions under their fiscal and customs agreements, whose contents remain confidential. Certain local agricultural products (meat, fruit and vegetables, yoghurt, table oil, beverages, sugar, etc.) are exempt from the internal taxes applicable or pay them at a reduced rate, whereas competing imports are liable to tax.
Under the ISIC definition, the simple average of the tariffs applied to agricultural products (including livestock breeding, fisheries and forestry) is 21.9 per cent which is higher than the overall average of 18.2 per cent. Where the food processing industry is concerned, the tariff is characterized by mixed escalation, due to the relatively high level of protection accorded to unprocessed agricultural products. These measures are tending to reduce the competitiveness of Gabonese goods, especially processed agricultural products.
Agricultural products, including foodstuffs, are subject to sanitary and phytosanitary measures, with the possibility of bans being imposed on imports, such as that imposed on imports of live avian species and products thereof, from origins recognized as being affected by avian influenza.
The Government reserves "the right to review" prices for edible oil produced by the SIAT-Gabon.
In Gabon the development plan 2007-2015 provides for: the planting/replanting of 10,000 ha of rubber plantation; the planting/replanting of 15,000 ha of oil palm plantation; the restocking of the cattle ranch with Ndama cattle from 3,000 to 20,000 head; the construction of the industrial infrastructure required for the above; and Siat Gabon intends to list on the Libreville and Douala Stock Exchanges in 2011 by putting 40% of Siat Gabon on the market.