Lusaka Province Minister, Mr. Japhen Mwakalombe giving a presentation at the symposium in Pretoria
Lusaka Province Minister, Mr. Japhen Mwakalombe giving a presentation at the symposium in Pretoria

Agri All Africa (AaA), a farmer organisation that aims to support the development of commercial agriculture in Africa, has urged South African farmers to look to investing in Zambia because the country had some of the most conducive policies and the right environment to support agriculture.

And Lusaka Province Minister, Mr. Japhen Mwakalombe, has assured the farmers that Zambia’s policies were tailored to support the private sector and that investors’ finances were secure once they started doing business in Zambia.

According to a statement released to the media by Nicky Shabolyo, the press Secretary at the Zambian High Commission in Pretoria, South Africa, Mr. Mwakalombe was speaking in Pretoria yesterday at a symposium organised by AaA to discuss foreign direct investment in agricultural opportunities in Zambia.
The meeting brought together about 60 agriculture and banking industry specialists from South Africa.

Mr. Mwakalombe pointed out that 80 per cent of Zambia’s land was arable but that not much of it was being utilised. He said the country had abundant water which could be harnessed for agricultural purposes.

The minister said Zambia has proved that it was politically stable having had installed six presidents since independence through peaceful elections.
“This therefore goes to show that your investment in Zambia would be secure. You don’t need to worry about any forms of instability that would distabilise your investment. There is also great potential in the country if you look at the available arable land and the water,” Mr. Mwakalombe said.

He said Government has embarked on various ambitious road and rail construction projects meant to connect the country to its neighbours as well as sea ports in order to make it easy for business to operate. New airports were also being constructed while others were being expanded to position Zambia as a regional hub for commerce.

Mr. Mwakalombe said, as outlined in President Edgar Lungu’s speech during the official opening of Parliament this year, Zambia was focusing on achieving a diversified economy through agriculture as enshrined in the Seventh National Development Plan.

AaA Chief Executive Officer, Dirk Hanekom, said his organisation wanted to work with all governments in countries where their members entered and that they should not be viewed as “colonialists or land grabbers.”

Mr. Hanekom said in the case of Zambia, AaA members will join organisations such as the Zambia National Farmers Union and other interest groups when they start operations in the country.

“There is no way we shall enter Zambia and start our activities without talking to the government. We want to support government in achieving its goal of serving the people,” Mr. Hanekom said.

AaA Board Chairperson, Dr. Theo De Jager noted that agriculture was not just about good soils but required other elements such as good policies, stability as well as good people and that Zambia stood out from among other countries on the continent as one which had these qualities.

He bemoaned the fact that 97 per cent of food traded on the continent was with other continents and not among African countries. He said countries found it easier to trade with Europe and other continents because of the bureaucratic nature of doing things by most African countries.

AaA Chief Financial Officer who is also Agri Zambia Managing Director, Mr. Landon Romano told the audience that Zambia had policies specifically tailored to cater to fresh investments, such as tax exemption, in the initial stages of a business.

Other topics discussed at the symposium included; responsible investments and farming in the Zambian environment, organised farming value and agribusiness propositions, and why one should look at farming prospects outside South Africa.

Lusaka Province Minister, Mr. Japhen Mwakalombe (centre) speaking during a panel discussion at the symposium in Pretoria on Wednesday, 19th October, 2016. With him are Agri-Zambia Board Member Mr. Levi Tembo, and AaA Chairperson Dr. Theo De Jager
Lusaka Province Minister, Mr. Japhen Mwakalombe (centre) speaking during a panel discussion at the symposium in Pretoria on Wednesday, 19th October, 2016. With him are Agri-Zambia Board Member Mr. Levi Tembo, and AaA Chairperson Dr. Theo De Jager
Lusaka Province Minister, Mr. Japhen Mwakalombe (3rd from left) speaking during a panel discussion at the symposium in Pretoria on Wednesday, 19th October, 2016. The other members of the panel are (L-R) Agri-Zambia Managing Director Mr. Landon Romano, Agri-Zambia Board Member Mr. Levi Tembo, AaA Chairperson Dr. Theo De Jager, fresh produce dealer Mr. Jan Mocke, and AaA Chief Executive Officer Mr. Dirk Hanekom.
Lusaka Province Minister, Mr. Japhen Mwakalombe (3rd from left) speaking during a panel discussion at the symposium in Pretoria on Wednesday, 19th October, 2016. The other members of the panel are (L-R) Agri-Zambia Managing Director Mr. Landon Romano, Agri-Zambia Board Member Mr. Levi Tembo, AaA Chairperson Dr. Theo De Jager, fresh produce dealer Mr. Jan Mocke, and AaA Chief Executive Officer Mr. Dirk Hanekom.
AaA Chief Executive Officer Mr. Dirk Hanekom speaking during a panel discussion at the symposium in Pretoria on Wednesday, 19th October, 2016. With him are (L-R) Agri-Zambia Managing Director Mr. Landon Romano, Agri-Zambia Board Member Mr. Levi Tembo, Lusaka Province Minister, Mr. Japhen Mwakalombe, AaA Chairperson Dr. Theo De Jager, and fresh produce dealer Mr. Jan Mocke
AaA Chief Executive Officer Mr. Dirk Hanekom speaking during a panel discussion at the symposium in Pretoria on Wednesday, 19th October, 2016. With him are (L-R) Agri-Zambia Managing Director Mr. Landon Romano, Agri-Zambia Board Member Mr. Levi Tembo, Lusaka Province Minister, Mr. Japhen Mwakalombe, AaA Chairperson Dr. Theo De Jager, and fresh produce dealer Mr. Jan Mocke
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41 COMMENTS

    • Its a worst case scenario where the incompetent PF is concerned. Invest in an economy that is in dununa reverse order is a golly gosh, filly folly! 23% inflation rate, fuel over K13, an egg K1,or 4 tomatoes (balunda Mayo, tomato yandula) K5. How can they invest when PF cadres are controlling the economy which they don’t understand, in dununa reverse?
      No media freedom, Lusaka Times is seemingly not random, vengeance fully on critical acclaims, instead of such media tolerating various views. Njala Inyokola, load shedding as a pillow.

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    • Us Zambian farmers, bakachema, say that those boers are the worst of the lot. They will supplant their apartheid system into Zambia as they have done with Australia. We don’t need them. Just support bakachema instead of sneering and deriding us. Keep the racists out.

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    • If you asked me, I would tell you that we do not need SA farmers to do the farming for us. What are we good at then? We don’t make roads, we don’t mine, we don’t construct, innovate and create. Should we fail to farm also? Ask for knowledge and skills and not farmers. Learn to fish and not just to eat fish. Empower UNZA agric students instead.

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    • Bring them on but clear rules, no funny South African racism,because some of these white farmers come with their bad habits.

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    • This is just failure by PF leaders to come up with a plan to develop the agriculture sector that centers on empowering local Zambian farmers. Zambia is now nothing but a gold mine for outside vultures who want to make a quick buck. Look at the mines, where we have been bringing in questionable people who have ended up looting the resources, refused to pay taxes, mistreated Zambian workers, polluted our rivers, damaged our environment with toxic waste, polluted the air, leading to Zambians developing lung diseases. And then these so called investors walk away with billions of dollars, while Zambia is left holding an empty bag. (Watch a video on YouTube entitled: “Stealing Africa- Why Poverty ?” …and see what’s happening to Zambia). And now we’re supposedly bringing in farmers to…

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    • (Continued) … invest. But just how much will the ordinary Zambians benefit from all this, knowing fully well that our clueless leaders don’t show any competence in negotiating contracts? Zambia is easy to deal with by foreign investors, meaning because our leaders are naive and are easily fooled or corrupted. Most likely, this will end up being nothing more than land grabbing. Wouldn’t be surprised if in the next few years, 90% of Zambia is owned by foreigners. Because our clueless leaders are busy selling our land away.

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  1. Dear Mr. Hanekom are you certain you want to join The Zambia National Farmers Union. Listen, the Board Chair and the CEO stole cooperating partners funds, they built farms and bought cars. The CEO engaged his wife’s company and paid it huge sums contrary to procurement guidelines. The two are still walking the streets freely.Nkandla is nothing in comparison to what the two did….lastly the man who came to represent our nation ask him how long it takes for maize to grow and the current stocks in his country….Zambia Forward!

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  2. Ati “HH would never allow this”, you are a delusional twerp ..HH is the one that has been in cohoots with these imperialists such as Zambeef those racists from day one. I for one disagree with this idea of bringing in these South African trekkers to Zambia, what good do they bring? Nothing, the only ones who benefit are themselves. They bring zero development outside their farms, they pay their workers close to nothing, they promote corruption by trying to bribe any official they can. No, please can my govt please not allow these swine to enter my land!

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    • That’s bit hard calling me a twerp, it is an awful word to call someone of my standing in society. A bit over the top I would say.
      Mind withdrawing your statement please?

      Thanks

      BB2014

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    • Ba Mushota naimwe chisote chenu, what are you? of course you are a double TWERP, of what standing are you in society or rather which society are you talking about? Twerp…….. twerp!!!!!!!!

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  3. @mushoti, because he is a dimwit like you. someone goes to attract farmers to come to Zambia, grow more food and expand your current export base and all you see is cow dung. Zambia is exporting maize to southern africa, while your under five leader is counting his cattle everyday and calling himself rich, so how can you see the potential in this business trip….. what a backward lot of cattle herds boys we have among us

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    • Calling someone a dimwit is condescending. Mind withdrawing that word please.

      I stand and represent Zambia and as an ambassador of you country I deserve to be talked to , caressed admired and certainly be excluded of being judged so harshly by you.

      Thanks in advance as you withdraw your wording to me

      Thanks

      BB2014

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  4. And please ba Kateka as much as I’m a die hard PF supporter which Zambian can be allowed to buy farmland in South Africa? Please tell me? We need to safeguard our own land for the sake of all our children! Don’t be hoodwinked by HH’s fake philosophy of free market economics which is actually just about stealing which is all he did to become rich. Nonsense! Never, allow these boers in! We fought many years to prevent these things why allow them in! No and a very big NO let them go and buy land in damn Australia or Russia but not here!

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  5. Why are you calling on SA farmers to come to Zambia? Why can’t you empower small scale Zambian farmers to grow into Commercial farmers? Why is it that other people have to come and do the farming? Why can’t we as Zambians do it ourselves? Look at what such policies of giving land to foreigners caused in SA and Zimbabwe? Why do you want to import these problems to Zambia. Focus on your own people, sir!!!

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  6. Only *****s believe that foreigners are the answer to their development problems. We must invest in our children to develop all the sectors of our economy. NRC, Monze College of Agriculture, etc require investments from ourselves so that our graduate farmers can take charge. In South Africa, Black citizens are everyday crying for land, and this is because the Whites grabbed all the fertile land. Those in the PF govrnment who think that these same foreigners must grab our land must go and jump into their pit latrines. We deserve better for ourselves. We have trashed education for a very long time, thus our skills base in agro have been weakened. We must reverse this by educating more of our people.

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  7. The mines were bought for a song and without much investment the “buyers” made enough cash to actually pay for the mines USING THE SAME RESOURCES THAT WE FAILED TO MANAGE!!!!!!!! Why can’t we ASK Zambians to GO and invest in OTHER countries SO THAT we – WE can earn more from extending our expertise, facilitated by government!!???? Why should we always INVITE others to do what we can do ourselves!? Change your FCUKING mindsets!!! I beg you!

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  8. @MyZambia ,& @ Kalok,i understand your frustration.Zambia needs to be a “nation” first not a congregation of tribes!!That is why the GRZ can invite “foreigners”,give them land & tax incetives(tax exemptions,tax holidays),win GRZ tenders etc without shame!!At the end of the day more poverty!!!

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    • Zambia will never be a nation as long as some northerners think they are superior to other ethnic groups. Zambia is a collection of incongruous tribes who were stampeded into one kraal by the British so that Kaunda could be its first president.

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    • But I can assure you @Buck Teeth Lungu, if someone called on indigenous Zambians to hold a peaceful protest against allocating farm land to foreigners, everyone, no matter the tribe, will join. It doesn’t matter the tribe, its our land as Zambians, we can fight over it but not give it to foreigners.

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  9. WHY NOT DORA SILIYA REPRESENTING US IN SUCH FORUM AS SHE IS MINISTER OF AGRICULCTURE? NOT MWAKALOMBE HE MUST BE IN LUSAKA COUNTING HOW MANY PEOPLE SLEEP HUNGRY

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  10. Zambian land for Zambians! Stop this nonsense PF! Just bringing in SA Whites at the cost of Zambians is not acceptable. Just what does, ‘80% of Land is arable and unused,’ mean? Zambians have been told Land is not available but we see you giving away more land, land which should be for future of our kids. There has to be a balance between development land and that which is for citizen use. Just bringing in a large foreign population is going to add to socio-economic problems, especially since you tend to set poor negotiations conditions. Are they too going to get free electricity at the cost of citizens?

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    • I actually agree with you. The swathes of land given to corporations for eastern African countries reeks of an agenda where the awareness of markets is being kept to the select few while locals are encouraged to let others reap the benefits. We need to rethink our base structures and develop agriculture in a manner that locals engage fully in works and not just as ‘hands’ unable to afford to feed families. That and the fact this arable land has minerals.

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  11. Comment: why are. you complaining? most Zambians don’t want to invest in agriculture and if there people out there who want to then let them do it. and the fact is that most commercial farmers in Zambia are foreigners .

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  12. We leave in a Globalised village where there are no restrictions as to where people should work and leave so long they do not have a criminal record.

    May i pose a question how many Zambians are in diaspora and have been given Citizenship in South Africa,United Kingdom,Canada,Sweden to mention a few.

    Lets be realist about how we think.We need to adapt to what is happening worldwide.

    You should also be aware that there have been what i may call international relationships and marriages irrespective of colour.This adds to diverse culture which is a norm

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    • Yeah, but what does that have to do with giving land to South African whites? Are you aware that South Africa has a law that bans foreigners from owning land in SA? There’s a reason they did that. These people come into the country under the pretense of investment, but the truth of the matter is, they just want access to owning large swaths of land, and whether they develop it or not, is another story. There’s a trend across Africa where foreigners are coming into African countries, buy large acres of land from crooked corrupt politicians, build apartments on it, they rent the apartments out to locals at exorbitant prices. These foreigners don’t even have to live in the country. They go back to their countries and own land in other countries as absentee landlords. Fo0lish Africans, we…

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    • (Continued)… are selling our continent away. Remember if you don’t have land, you don’t have a country.

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  13. Comment:where are we going Zambia? please tel us, are we like babies who do not know how to feed them selves? are u Zambia rely we know or you have changed?

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  14. I have not seen or heard of ONE Zambian farmer owning a farm in South Africa, what is wrong with Zambians, learn the skill but do not sell the land!!! are we still living the old days, when people gave away land in exchange for small things like mirrors? South African farmers treat their workers very badly. Is everything Rocket science in Zambia…..SIGH……..They are very racist and this is a struggle right now in South Africa, don’t you read? Grow up and stop dancing to any muzungu that walks your way, ubututu pa zed the only difference between them and us is color and of course the we cant do this nor that inferiority complex from some of our people.

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  15. Comment:eh eh. If you would ask me i think its fine that these guys (foreigners) come in .us zambians are never serious when it comes to work. What’s good for most of us are white collar jobs no wonder government is looking for foreign investors. I feel its the right move.

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  16. Agriculture is a core business which should be developed and harnessed by Zambians as it is a sensitive area and borders on survival of citizens. Yes we need foreign investors in this area to bring in capital & technology etc. but these investors are always looking for optimal opportunities to grow their investments .Once the host country fall short of that ,they will look elsewhere. Zambia is a PARADISE in this area and its were employment opportunities are begging. Examples, in Kenya, Uganda some brilliant University graduates( Doctors in Medicine ,Accountants) have gone into farming after working for 2 or 3 years to raise capital and today they are honorable as they ‘ve left jobs and further created job opportunities for others. The back still stops at us.

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  17. Zambia will never develop as long as we continue thinking that only foreigners can invest in this country. Surely the issue of land has brought conflicts in a lot of countries including South Africa. You can see what is happening in Ethiopia.
    All we need is to develop deliberate policies for our youthful population to acquire agric knowledge and assist them to invest in agriculture. we do not need the boers-they will never have Zambian interest. What is invested by Zambians will remain Zambian but these foreign investor run aways behave like prostitutes when times are hard they

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  18. Its good to see all the passion, patriotism and particularly non partisanship brought out by this invitation to South African farmers by one of “our leaders”. I’m sure the contributors to this conversation come from every tribe in this country. Why can’t all of us who are so passionate about this very important issue, in the name of developing our agriculture and preserving our land for ourselves, not come together, form a co-operative, or a company, as Zambians, as the South Africans have done and approach the Zambian government for funding to go into agriculture?. Maybe we are too busy at our places of EMPLOYMENT to do so? I’m not English so pardon my punctuations and syntax?

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  19. Don’t give our land to foreigners , just give loans to Zambians to do farming but must be trained to do farming .
    The issue is about knowledge and not about the colour of some ones skin.
    These people when they come it is you who give them money to do farming ,
    What is wrong with Zambian still in darkness?

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  20. We do not need the South Africans here for agricultural purposes. What we need to do is empower capable Zambians to do even better. I have a small holding somewhere near Chikumbi and in need of electricity to enhance activities but Zesco is crawling with the installations of the backbone line. How do we progress as it were when they take years to finish a job that requires only 2 months? When the foreigner comes, instantly he shall be provided with power and yet the proceeds shall be externalized.

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  21. I dont understand, why bring in HH in issues which he did not comment? Are you day dreaming? Just deal with your delusions.
    @ Mushota.
    Forget about those quacks who call you names. Do not argue with fools, because people may not notice the difference

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Comments are closed.