President Edgar Lungu has disclosed that government is focusing on policy and legislative reforms to educate local farmers on the emerging trends and opportunities in the agriculture sector.
President Lungu stressed the need for the agriculture sector to be transformed for export oriented in order for the economy to grow.
Speaking when he launched the export of fresh blueberry fruits to China by the Zambezi Berry Company, the Head of State explained that the country has the capacity to export agricultural products to competitive markets.
He observed that the Chinese market imports a significant quantity of blueberries from countries in North and South America hence was gratified that Zambia was positioning itself to compete for a larger share of the blueberry market in China.
The President was amused that in the midst of the Coronavirus pandemic, the country was able to export agricultural products to competitive markets
“There is definitely no doubt that this blueberry project will raise the profile of the agriculture sector in our country, particularly in the horticulture subsector. With this project, we have also become the only country in the SADC region to have access to the lucrative market for blueberries in china. This is a significant development in the history of Zambia. The Zambezi blueberry company deserves many accolades for making this happen,” President Lungu indicated.
The Republican President commended Zambezi Berry Company for also creating employment opportunities for about 2,000 people, indicating that it was a significant contribution towards government’s thrust of creating more jobs for the people of Zambia.
He pointed out the need for the country to increase agriculture production and put in place appropriate systems that support exports, and he assured farmers, governments commitment to ensure that challenges in the sector were addressed.
The Head of State also disclosed that government was already in the process of reviewing the legislation on industrial hemp and cannabis cultivation in the country.
And Chinese Ambassador to Zambia, Li Jie noted that the milestone had contributed to the bilateral cooperation between Zambia and China.
Mr. Jie disclosed that Zambia has been exporting high quantities of honey to China adding that the two countries have signed a contract of three million United States dollars to continue the honey business.
Mr. Li pointed out the fruitful developments that both countries have achieved in the agriculture sector during the recent past which is a very encouraging development.
“This will contribute to the promotion of the bilateral economic and Trade Corporation and development of the relations between China and Zambia. China and Zambia have already attained fruitful achievements in Agriculture Corporation,” Mr Jie stated.
The Ambassador added that agriculture production in Zambia has further attracted investment from Chinese entrepreneurs.
And Minister of Agriculture Michael Katambo indicated that government is ready to secure international markets for local farmers who are growing various products.
Mr. Katambo noted that his Ministry has observed an increased interest among local farmers to produce a variety of tree crops, fruits and vegetables for export markets.
“The Ministry is in support of this trend and welcomes this development. I therefore wish to inform you that the Ministry of Agriculture is now looking to expand our research and extension service capacity in order to adapt and provide adequate support to all farmers across the country,” Mr. Katambo stated.
The Minister indicated that it was through concerted efforts with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Ministry of Commerce, Trade and Industry that secured market access for the export of fresh blueberry to China by the Zambezi Berry Company.
Meanwhile, Zambezi Berry Company Proprietor Graham Rae commended government for creating a conducive environment for both large and small scale farmers through favourable policies.
Mr. Rae indicated that these policies have helped shift focus from the country’s dependency on mining to agriculture.
He noted that government has encouraged farmers to diversify in order to be up to date with what is trending on the market, hence creating policies to ensure that the country is food secure.
“During the current leadership, government has called on farmers to diversify and we have seen agricultural production increase and I can assure you that it is one of the future African countries that is food secure. And that is because of good governance policies,” Mr Rae explained.
He applauded government for their support to ensure that his company was able to start exporting fresh blueberry fruits to China, indicating that the efforts have helped the private sector to thrive.
And traditional leadership in the area have assured their support to government policies that have so far birthed positive outcomes as witnessed at the launch of the export of fresh blueberry fruits to China.
His govt has defaulted as predicted and he is there doing a PS’s job
Fix the economy Bandit lungu. k 1 to $22 … ECZ if anyone accept Bandit lungu nomination papers it’s treason. It’s a warning Zambia it’s not for individual ECZ . Captain solo is waiting for ECZ to make sure bandit lungu nomination papers are not accepted.
But why not have them processed here before sending them off???? Can’t we make the the finished product ourselves and create jobs from that????
But why not have them processed here before sending them off???? Can’t we make the finished product ourselves and create jobs from that????
That’s what he is good for, commissioning toilets, stealing and just smelling like sh1t. This [email protected] of a useless president, ch1kala Lungu
Munzi wapya. Manje ni ma Berry export launch cabe. Awe bane tizasebana ka!
My great mentor and leader was criticized when he travelled to China years ago. Now all that hard work is coming to fruition. ECL is a wise man who thinks wat ahead of his opponents. He looks at sustainability rather than short term fixes. Ala we thank you bakateka. Meanwhile hh who is meant to be business savvy is busy just crying about elections like a cow mooo mooo.
The question we should be asking is how will this be exported in crates or packaged in Zambia straight for shops in China…what is the composition of these jobs created is it just 2000 seasonal pickers or factory workers.
GRZ should lead efforts to grow the chikanda plant …….
“…..he travelled to China years ago. Now all that hard work is coming to fruition….”
Why have all economic indicators been in decline ever since , , ever since lungu came to power, long before covid ??? , and continue today ?
Spaka what economy are you talking about ? You are not in Zambia and are not Zambian so how can you comment on an economy you are not living in ? Why trouble yourself with our issues ? Do the whltes there in diaspora not allow you to comment on internal issues even after you obtained their citizenship?
That’s PF for you, they’ll tell you what they do with the berries but remain mute on Gold.
Excellent!!! This creates a good opportunity for our Zambian farmers. Any kind of Berries are of high demand overseas. The wise farmers will capitalise on this new venture instead of wasting their time criticising everything.
What I hate are insults and some of you should desist from insulting President Lungu, even if you are not happy with what is happening in the country try to show maturity in the way you express your criticism or else you only expose yourselfs as immature and rude people. Im not happy with the state of our economy, I will express this by continuing to say govt should stop buying expensive luxury vehicles, let alone private jets, stop spending top dollar on senior govt officers including opposition MPs whilst pensioners remain unpaid, lets utilise our natural and human resources wisely, let us remove the strangle hold lawyers have placed on Zambia by sustaining an out of touch legal system that breeds red tape and destroys development. Constructive criticism.
Why doesn’t the Ministry of Agriculture organize/teach our peasant farmers how to grow these berries and then help them export? It has to take a muzungu to show you what to do. Are we not embarrassed that government institutions like Mount Makulu research station is seriously deteriorating right in front of our eyes when such institutions have been capable in the past to offer all sorts of solutions in agriculture!!?
Lusaka Times (LT), what are ‘Blueberries’? These berries could even be of different types ask a horticulturist, what is Mr Rae growing? I seek guidance from LT because reporters on this publication have a tendency of giving a story without aiding the reader with explanatory visuals. I wonder how many in Zambia even know a blueberry and how it looks like! Many that have read this story could even be thinking a blueberry is a mulberry! Please LT learn to attach pictures so people can get more enlightened on what is being reported! Creating jobs? Walkover Estates created jobs picking strawberries, now the blueberry will create similar jobs at how much income?
We need serious exports like Gold from Northwestern Province, Oil from Liuwa, Copper , Rosewood, Mukula and all these transactions should be legal. Govt sould support these exports not blue berries.
The government should educate our farmers about berries and other crops that could be exported. This is going to give a major boost to the economy.
Glad to see that President Lungu is helping the agricultural sector to expand.
If we export more and import less by using local products then in the coming years our economy will be on the next level.
There are certain crops that have a huge demand in the global market, farmers should harvest different varieties of vegetables and fruits to attract the global market.
Lungu and government working hard to bring development to this country. We must appreciate their efforts and vote for them in upcoming elections.
We are sitting on some very lucrative crops in Zed. Blueberry is gold in Europe. Blueberry is loved by health fanatics cos blueberries can help in boosting immunity and can reduce the risk of diabetes, obesity and heart diseases. Avocado pears are green gold. Their prices have rocketed in recent years by up to 129%. The world over their price has almost doubled in just one year. We should have a government with a workable commercial strategy on our natural grown crops not people who think copper is the only foreign exchange earner we have
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