Zambia Development Agency (ZDA) acting director Investments Moses Mwanakatwe

By Memory Chipili

“The mantle to develop the North-Western Province rests on all of us as local residents and not non-Zambians to change the status quo and create a conducive economic diversification especially in priority sectors that can produce fruit such as agriculture, tourism, energy, manufacturing and mining.”

Zambia Development Agency (ZDA) acting director Investments Moses Mwanakatwe made the remarks at a Business Symposium held on the sidelines of the ongoing North-West investment exposition in Solwezi where he explained the urgent need for the province to consider venturing into agriculture among other sectors instead of being dependent on mining alone.

Mr Mwanakatwe noted that Zambia boasted of 75 million hectares of land, of which the province sat on 12.5 million hectares.Of that spread, 5.8 million hectares was ready for use but only 2.7 million hectares was in use for agriculture purposes, with 46 rivers dotted across the province as a possible good irrigation option. This made the province a sound potential destination for agricultural investment.

“With all this land lying idle a lot more of jobs could be created if we can all consider taking up the mantle to open up and use this land in both small-scale and commercial farming ventures that will in turn help to improve the living standards of the locals in the province.”

He said in trying to diversify the economy of the country, Government had come up with the concept of farm block development whose aim is to specifically venture into commercialised activities such as livestock, poultry farming, milk processing and fisheries.

“Every province has potentially a total of 100,000 hectares of land set aside specifically for commercialisation of Agriculture purposes, and here in the province we do have the Solwezi farm block which is ready to be exploited by serious Investors,” he said.

Mr Mwanakatwe said the North West Expo has indeed unlocked the potential that the province had to develop through different key sectors aside from mining.

He said, for instance bee-keeping could be commercialised if value-addition was considered through honey processing factories, whose ripple effect would create jobs for locals and change their livelihood.

Mr Mwanakatwe added that the province was free from livestock diseases that affect other parts of the country, and from pests found in farming areas in other provinces.

“I challenge you, be you Zambian or non-Zambian, to come and approach the provincial administration and invest in the sector and take up the opportunities that are currently available and ready to be explored.”

Provincial permanent secretary Willies Mangimela said that the objective of hosting the province’s first-ever trade and investments Expo was to create long-lasting opportunities that would transform the local communities and give potential investors vital information.

“I encourage all exhibitors, partners and our visitors to reflect deeply on the theme and utilise the platform that is provided to get maximum benefit both business and networking purposes,” Mr Mangimela said. – Courtesy of SUMA SYSTEMS.

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11 COMMENTS

    • Only 2.5m Hector’s is used shame!! Yet we are complaining that mealie meal is expensive the govt should come in. What nosense…we are wasting land ,vomiting on it with tujilijili vomit..urinating on it ..no work at all. Don’t subsidies unga. . let these people start working had!!!

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  1. Good initiative,but the Government should consider the cost of doing business in Zambia.You can boast of having millions of hectares of land and 46 rivers.That in it self is nothing.What is important is what comes out of the land.Many of our people still have a mentality that when you have land you have wealth.Bury that and start living.
    Every one you speak to is selling land at an exorbitant price.Land in the first place should never be sold.Tell me why should I buy a 200m x 150m BARREN land for K100,000?The place has no infrastructure. No water,No Electricity and No road.No cellular connectivity No market for your produce.No strong people (ENERGETIC)The list is endless.
    An investor’s main business is to make a profit not to please the community.Give us free land and you will see how…

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  2. Foolish Zambians! Instead of investing in massive farming activities with plenty of land and rainfall in N.Western province someone uses the loot to build 48 houses.Farming could have even created a lot of jobs

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  3. @Cambrian Explosion and Popolyongo, you are right. I tried to make an appointment for HaGay Jay to see a Psychiatrist at Chainama but I was told they have no meds for something that runs in the blood in Namwala in genes even though it affects Mental!

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  4. Expo business is a thought of a thief….but people don’t know yet….but it’s fine keep on thinking development comes like that….but very soon you will see

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  5. Don’t sell the land to anyone. Build an agricultural industry if you’re so worried about land lying ‘idle’.

    The cheap and easy solution from neoliberal politicians is to sell it to you know who.

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