Daily Nation Newspaper - - BUSINESS & CORPORATE -

By PRINCE CHIBAWAH in Mpika THE Zampalm pro­ject which is be­ing im­ple­mented by In­dus­trial Devel­op­ment Cor­po­ra­tion (IDC) and ZAMBEEF is set to save Zam­bia US$100 mil­lion in for­eign ex­change out­flows ev­ery year once it is fully op­er­a­tional.

IDC act­ing group chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer, Henry Sakala said Zam­bia was cur­rently spend­ing be­tween US$70 mil­lion and US$100 mil­lion per an­num on ed­i­ble oil im­ports.

Mr Sakala said this on Mon­day when IDC board of direc­tors in­spected the Zampalm plan­ta­tion in Mpika.

IDC has in­vested over US$16 mil­lion in ZAMPALM Ltd that has so far created 900 per­ma­nent jobs.

"This pro­ject is of strate­gic im­por­tance to IDC and the na­tion as it drives the coun­try's in­dus­tri­al­i­sa­tion, ru­ral devel­op­ment and job cre­ation agenda," he said.

Mr Sakala ex­plained that one of the key fea­tures of the Zampalm pro­ject was the cre­ation of out-grower schemes.

"The pro­ject will cre­ate em­ploy­ment for Zam­bians at both the fac­tory and plan­ta­tion level. We are also tar­get­ing to cre­ate out-grower schemes to cover be­tween 5,000 and 10,000 small scale farm­ers to feed the crush­ing plant,

And del­e­ga­tion leader, David Kombe de­scribed the Zampalm pro­ject as a pro­gres­sive in­vest­ment.

"It's a pro­gres­sive pro­ject con­sid­er­ing that the coun­try is try­ing to di­ver­sify and de­velop agri­cul­ture as one of many sec­tors. Even in agri­cul­ture we are try­ing to run away from pro­mot­ing maize as the only thing our peo­ple should be plant­ing.

"As IDC we will try to work closely with ZAMBEEF and see how we can ex­pand be­cause one of the prob­lems we have looked at is that out of 20,000 hectares only 3,000 hectares has been utilised.

So how do we progress and en­sure the re­main­ing 17,000 hectares is also utilised? That's one of the crit­i­cal things we need to se­ri­ously look at. That's the only way we will get value for money."

Mean­while, chair­man of ZAMBEEF, Dr Ja­cob Mwanza said the part­ner­ship be­tween ZAMBEEF and IDC was a very im­por­tant mile­stone in con­tribut­ing to the devel­op­ment of Zam­bia.

"We need to en­sure ZAMBEEF re­mains a Zam­bian com­pany .... so I greatly wel­come the part­ner­ship be­tween ZAMBEEF and IDC be­cause this will en­sure ZAMBEEF ex­pan­sion growth is driven by lo­cally based com­pa­nies.

Zampalm Plan­ta­tion

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