03 SEPT - 17 SEPT
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