The European Union through the Southern African Development Community Trade Related Facility Project has given Zambia a grant of €800, 000 to implement trade related interventions in the Gold Mining and Agro-based Sectors which include Aquaculture, Dairy, Pineapples and Rice.
Preceding this, the Government received an initial grant of €420, 000 which was used in setting up the project management unit and implementing start up interventions on Sanitary and Phytosanitary Standards, Technical Barriers to Trade, Trade Facilitation and Promotion among others.
Ministry of Commerce Permanent Secretary Kayula Siame says the €800, 000 funding will, therefore, build on the specific activities which have been earmarked in the aforementioned intervention areas.
Mrs. Siame said among the specific activities implemented include a formalising 12 Mining Cooperatives in Rufunsa and Petauke Districts, an exercise which was undertaken in partnership with Ministry of Mines Procurement Gold Panning and Mining Equipment for the Mining Cooperatives.
She said the equipment includes Four Gold detectors, One Microscope and two Shaking Tables adding that the procured equipment is expected to be officially handed over within February 2019.
Mrs. Siame said the equipment which is yet to be procured include Four Sluice Boxes and 12 Panning dishes.
She said the contracted Supplier who was engaged to supply this equipment failed to deliver and the contract was, therefore, cancelled saying the Ministry is expected to relaunch the tender.
“Other interventions made hinged on Technical Barriers to Trade. University of Zambia School of Veterinary Medicine and Zambia Bureau of Standards working in collaboration with Apex Associations in the aforesaid agro-based target sectors were engaged to build food safety management systems based on industry needs”, she said.
She confirmed that the Needs Assessments were undertaken in the sectors and 32 modules have been developed for the sectors.
“Given the funding received, therefore, UNZA and ZABS are expected to finalise the modules and provide training and mentorship sessions to selected farmers and processors. Once the trainings and mentorships sessions are conducted, the selected farmers and processors will be certified in Hazard Critical Control Point (HACCP) and Good Agriculture Practices (GAP)”, she said.
Mrs. Siame said there are several other activities that have been lined-up and the Ministry will be communicating and sharing the developments as they ensue.
She said the Ministry is optimistic that these and other interventions earmarked in the Project will make meaningful impact and considerably compliment results ensuing from interventions of other projects.
Mrs. Siame has since thanked the EU and SADC for the continued financial and technical support.