President Edgar Lungu says his government is determined to continue promoting diversification and value addition of raw materials produced in the country.
President Lungu says value addition to crops such as soya beans, sorghum and millet provides an opportunity for more investment in the agriculture sector.
He said he is confident that industrialization and value addition will provide employment for the Zambians especially women and the youth who are the majority.
President Lungu was speaking today in Ndola when he commissioned the 120 million dollars soya beans crushing plant by Global Industries Limited.
The Head of State said the plant brings to reality his continued call for value addition and diversification, which is within government’s broader mission of accelerated diversification under the 7th National Development Plan (7NDP).
President Lungu reiterated that government will continue to provide a conducive environment for investment in the country.
Speaking earlier, Global Industries Limited Chief Executive Officer, Malolan Sampath, said the 120 million dollars crushing plant is the most sophisticated in the whole of Africa.
Mr. Sampath said the crushing plant has increased production of soya cake from 500 metric tons per day to 1,000 metric tons adding that the company has targeted to produce 315 thousand metric tons per year.
He said the soya cake produced by Global Industries Limited is the best in Southern African Development Community (SADC) and Common Marker for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) regions, with 8,000 metric tons now exported to South Africa alone and 15,000 metric tons exported to the rest of the region every month.
Meanwhile, Agriculture Minister, Michael Katambo said there is need for more companies setting base in the country to embrace backward and forward linkages as a way of creating more jobs.
Mr. Katambo urged Global Industries Limited to also take keen interest in buying soya beans from farmers at bulk centres being established in all parts of country.
And Copperbelt Province Minister, Japhen Mwakalombe, said the region is diversifying from mining to agriculture and is happy that the company is working in line with the 7th National Development Plan, which has value addition and diversification as one of its pillars.
Mr. Mwakalombe added that Global Industries Limited is also helping realize government’s vision of providing employment opportunities to the citizenry.