03 SEPT - 17 SEPT

Zambian Business Times - - AGRIBUSINESS -

She stated that her min­istry is work­ing tire­lessly to up­lift all live­stock and fish­eries sub-sec­tors in the value chain so that there are no break­ages in pro­duc­tion value chain un­til the mar­ket is reached.

“The min­istry is reach­ing out to farm­ers in the live­stock sec­tor, we know that they need money but where to in­vest it has been a chal­lenge. That is the rea­son why for ex­am­ple, the fish­eries sec­tor has set aside US$50 mil­lion to be given out as loans to farm­ers as we try to target the whole value chain,” Mu­lenga said.

She fur­ther con­firmed that three months ago, a team deal­ing with live­stock from Saudi Ara­bia was in the coun­try and agreed with govern­ment on way forward. A com­pre­hen­sive re­port will be avail­able end of Au­gust and this will al­low goat meat ex­port to be­gin.

“We hope and are ex­pect­ing that an­other team deal­ing with live­stock will come in. The people who came ear­lier were in­ter­ested in ex­port of car­casses and the meat it­self. We are not dis­count­ing the car­cass and meat ex­ports, but we are look­ing at the vari­a­tion of US$150 to US$200 per goat when com­pared to car­casses. We also want to en­sure that our emerg­ing goat farm­ers are pro­tected from ex­ploiters by work­ing out on statis­tics and me­moran­dum on how price guid­ance on the amounts that will be pay­ing our farm­ers so that they are pro­tected," she said.

On the level of fish con­sump­tion in Zam­bia, the min­is­ter lamented that the govern­ment ac­knowl­edges the huge deficit in the sec­tor. She how­ever said that be­cause of ap­pro­pri­ate govern­ment pol­icy, the Pres­i­dent has also fur­ther come out in open to com­mis­sion fish plants and cages across the coun­try con­tribut­ing to in­creased pro­duc­tion.

“Pre­vi­ously we ( Zam­bia) were trading at num­bers like 22,000 met­ric tons, now it’s about 40,000 met­ric tons. We do have a deficit still about 60 thou­sand met­ric tons. We ac­knowl­edge that our nat­u­ral fish­eries are get­ting de­pleted be­cause they are times when we In­sti­tute for fish ban, but you find that most of our fish­er­men do not want to ad­here to the fish ban even," she said.

The lo­cal unit, the Kwacha comes un­der se­vere pres­sure when­ever the global cop­per price in­sta­bil­ity kicks in as the coun­try de­pends 70% on the ex­ports of the red metal to earn its forex. More­over, de­spite hav­ing fresh wa­ter bod­ies, the coun­try fur­ther spends its forex to foot im­ports that in­cludes fish among other prod­ucts that could eas­ily be pro­duced lo­cally. PAGE 10

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