PRESIDENT Mwanawasa says Zambia will be turned into a major exporter of agricultural and food products by the year 2015.

The President said to this effect, Government had embarked on the promotion of the production of a wide variety of crops so that agriculture could become the mainstay of the country’s economy in the near future.

Mr Mwanawasa said this in Lusaka last night at State banquet hosted for visiting Djibouti President, Ismail Omar Guelleh, at Hotel Intercontinental.

“In the agricultural sector, my Government wishes to turn the country into a major exporter of agricultural and food products by the year 2015.

Already, the country has achieved self-sufficiency in the production of maize, the staple food of the Zambian people,” Mr Mwanawasa said.

He said in its endeavour to achieve economic development, Government had elected to prioritise agriculture, mining and tourism.

He said Zambia was offering incentives to local and foreign investors with a view to increasing the production of wealth that would help raise the living standards of the people.

In the mining sector, the President said the attractive incentives Government had offered had triggered tremendous expansion of the industry across the nation.

“The investment incentives have also contributed to a remarkable expansion in the tourism sector.

Your Excellency has been afforded a chance to sample one of our most spectacular tourist attractions just outside the city of Livingstone: the Mosi-O-Tunya – the smoke that thunders.”

He also said Government strongly believed that the interaction between Zambia and Djibouti should transcend the political sphere and trickle down into trade and culture.

The President said such interactions would enable the two countries strengthen longstanding political relations and bonds of friendship at all levels.

“My Government strongly believes that your visit to Zambia will constitute a turning point in the political relations of our two countries,” President Mwanawasa said.

He said Mr Guelleh’s visit to Zambia went beyond fostering a better understanding between the two Governments and providing an insight into the developments to closer cooperation in the cultural and economic fields.

President Mwanawasa also appreciated the Djibouti Government’s great interest in the establishment of an African Union Government at the Accra, Ghana, African Union summit held about two weeks ago.

Mr Mwanawasa said his Government fully understood Djibouti’s advocacy for the consolidation of democracy, respect for human rights and the rule of law as prerequisites to the formation of a continental government.

And Mr Guelleh said President Mwanawasa’s good leadership since he headed Government in 2002, deserved international support and emulation because Zambia had made many economic strides which the local people should be proud of.

He said his visit to Zambia was mainly dedicated to sharing Djibouti’s experiences on how it had struggled in fighting poverty and the way it had contributed to the restoration of peace and security in the Common Market for East and Southern Africa and other regions.

Mr Guelleh urged Africans to ensure that the continent no longer depended on other developed nations’ support.

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11 COMMENTS

  1. a good projection,but do incoming african leaders take up projects left behind by their predecesor??

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  2. That is what we want. A president should be able to stand with the head high up in the public and talk of diversified sectors of the economy. Unlike boasting of only one thing copper which is a finishing resource. I am happy to hear the president talk of agriculture and tourism before committing himself to the mines. Viva LPM.Viva the learned people of Zambia. The other thing you should insist on is enviroment.

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  3. I agree with GK. But some issues need furhter consideration. Generally, as economies develop, the contribution of the agricultural sector to GDP, including employment declines, whilst that of the manufacturing and service sector goes up. In the modern economy, the service sector has come to be dominated by the “knowledge economy” of ICT. To make agriculture the mainstay of the economy is to resign ourselves to role of producers of primary products. A mitigating option would be to ensure that we at the same time developing processing industry so that we can export secondary products like canned foods, fruit juices, mealie meal instead of maize, textiles instead of cotton, cigarrettes instead of raw tobacco. Experience of east asian countries would teach us a lesson or two.

    However, I admit that to keep the peasants happy, they need to grow enough food. To keep the urban masses happy, you need to ceate employment for them – in manufacturing and service industries.

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  4. #3 Chiller, You need to start from somewhere before you can go into manufacturing and service provision. Of course you can determine that this is a developing economy by looking at the percentage agriculture is contributing to the GDP. Let me give you an example of a factory that had opened up on the Copperbelt to be processing cassava. It wound up within one yaer because there was no enough cassava as a feed stock. The company went round in all the traditional cassava growing areas and swept all the cassava that was available. What happened next? No cassava to process. What would you do if it were you? All the developed countries before pursuing the new techs, they first ensured that they were food secure. That was the starting point. I believe you can only manage to push your fingers on the key board when your belly is full. Should it be enmpty you even forget about IT. Let us not rush. Let us go step by step.

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  5. NKhataboy, I agree with you. That is why I said we also need to have a broader vision. One of the biggest problem in African countries, Zambia especially, is food preservation. That is why the Co. you speak of on the CB run out of suppliers. People had grown only enough to eat and store. The solution for the Co. would have been to do what the cotton Co. does – Develop outgrower schemes to gaurantee a ready supply as well as a ready market for the producers. It would take long, but once producers catch on that they will be assured of a market, they will grow the Cassava!

    Think of all the food stuff that goes to worst in peak agric season. We should be able to eat Kandolo, pumkins, Mangoes etc, all year round. But we do not have a processing industry. What happenbed to ZamHort? Remember the Mango juice in a pyramid shape packet that once upon a time we drunk in Zambia? We should retrace those footsteps. That is the long range vision I am advocating for.

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  6. #5 chiller, I entirely agree with you. The outgrower scheme is tailored towards increasing production if done in a right way. It is the same high productivity I am advocating for here. Before we start thinking of regrounding and deepening the produce or product, we have to ensure that high productivity is achieved first. By the way, outgrower approach is not the best approach. In areas where it has been tried in Zambia, it has left participating farmers poorer than they were before. This approach encourages exploitation of outgrowers by the operators. The best approach is to strengthen the cooperative movement. Once that is done, it means an ordianry farmer will be protected as a cooperatve is deemed to be a mouth piece of a farmer.

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  7. #6 Chiller, You mean you don”t know what happened to Zamhort. It was plundered by Chiluba and his cohorts. However, it is now operational by the private sector but at a small scale. Most of the equipment is in a skaleton form. It needs huge recapitalisation. Go there and you will find canned foods such as beans, corn, pineapple and many other local food stuffs on the shelves. But even so, the mamagement is complaining about erratic supply of the feed stock. Practically speaking, we need to pull our socks high in terms of production before we start talking about manufacturing.

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  8. Ba Nkhataboy(4), i disagree with your cassava example in this context.The promoters of the business are at fault.The supply side should have been investigated inclusive of contingencies before investment was undertaken.Ba Joze and crew are always harping on about market research and project planning.This is what Nisha Starch did not do properly.Why set up a processing industry if you cannot guarantee or source enough raw material to ensure economies of scale??

    I agree with the sentiment that we should be looking at encouraging value adding processing industries….but what incentives are there?? processing requires equipment which can only be imported.As at now ZRA will kill your project in import duties even before you start.This is one of the bottlenecks that need to be addressed.

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  9. #8 Pundit, I don’t know why you are disagreeing with me because I have outrighlty pointed out that what we need to do is to ensure that productivity is increased before we start taliking of manufacturing which your friend #3 and #5 Chiller is promulgating.

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  10. Those of you interested in technology can read my article at ukzambians.co.uk ICT WHICH WAY FROM ZAMBIA(Wireless or Fiber) enjoy reading.

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  11. SAGE I have read your article over ICT in Zambia I will add salt at a later stage because this is my area. Over the crop boost from the president he is trailing those who read my articles a fews day ago I have time and again mentioned transforming Zambia into an export nation in the area of agriculture. To some of us its not a surprise that this has come to the ear of our head of state. Zambia is gifted to be a landlocked nation with 8 neigbors. All these countries should by now real trading partners and Zambia play the major role. Zambia is evergreen and from nature we Zambians we are farmers be it be Chitemene System in the north. Its was wrong to have abolished Cooperatives in Zambia because by now we would have moving on a different stage. Pilz bloggers dont mislead people technology is not only about computing but its diverse. Computing is just there to make our available technology simpler and cheater.

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