Fisheries and Livestock Minister Nkandu Luo has threatened to cancel the Memorandum of Understanding with the Zambia Cooperative Federation (ZCF) for the construction of an agricultural industrial park in Chipata worth over $1 billion.
Professor Nkandu Luo has said that the intention to cancel the MoU is being necessitated by the federations’ failure to honor its commitment signed in August 2018 despite her ministry making frantic efforts to engage ZCF on the matter.
She said that the government has done its part by allocating 210 hectares of land for construction of the industrial park while ZCF has failed to honor its commitment to rehabilitate fisheries research stations in the country, adding that despite ZCF moving and starting works on the site which is located at the fisheries research station in Chipata, it has not commenced any rehabilitation works on the research stations in Chipata, Chilanga, Kasaka and Fiyongoli in Mansa as stated in the MoU.
Professor Luo has told NAIS in Chipata that she is disappointed with the federation and will not tolerate any institution whose actions impede the industrialization of the rural areas of the country.
The agriculture industrial park is meant to house a veterinary medicine plant, milk packaging plant, feed plant, fish processing and cold storage facilities among others.
According to the MoU, the state-of-the-art industrial park is expected to produce 600 tonnes of fish per annum and will enhance value addition of crops, fisheries and livestock if constructed.
Professor Luo said efforts to get in touch with ZCF Director General James Chirwa have failed for the past three weeks despite assurances that he will be with her in Chipata during her visit to the site.