Zambia seen as the next breadbasket
By SAVIOUS KWINIKA
JOHANNESBURG, (CAJ News) – ZAMBIA is capable of overcoming prevailing challenges in the agricultural sector to become a major food supplier in the region, analysts said ahead of a major industry event.
Agritech Expo is expected to welcome some 15 000 farming professionals, from emerging, to small holder to commercial farmers, and agri experts, at the GART Research Centre in Chisamba from April14-16.
“It is an over-worn cliché to say that Zambia will one day become the ‘bread basket’ of the region but there is no doubt that, despite of current challenges, the future of Zambia’s farmers, both small and large scale, as suppliers of food products to the region and as drivers of Zambian economic growth is very positive,” said Rob Munro, Director of Strategy at Musika.
Musika is a Zambian non-profit company that works to stimulate private sector investment in the smallholder market.
It is a key partner again in the Agritech Expo.
He however highlighted Zambia was struggling with a number of macroeconomic challenges including a power shortage and a drought.
While the short term picture is tough for Zambian agriculture, there is positive news, Munro said.
“Zambia still has plenty of land and water, a stable political environment and a highly resilient, resourceful and diverse farming community. In an age where food is in ever increasing demand locally, regionally and globally, Zambia is in a good position to take full advantage of its agricultural assets in the future,” said Munro.
Michael Bentley, Dealer Principal, Action Auto in Zambia concurred Zambia was endowed with a large land resource base of over 40 million hectares of arable land.
“The country is abundant with water resources having 40 per cent of the water in Central and Southern Africa. This means Zambia has unimaginable opportunities for food production to feed the entire sub-Saharan region,” said Bentley.
Susan Mennell, Managing Director at CFAO Zambia Limited, the automobile company, said with the poor copper prices and mine closures Zambia is going to look to the agricultural sector for more exports.
“Zambia is able to produce excellent crops and excesses can be exported,” said Mennell.
Agritech Expo is organised by Spintelligent, leading Cape Town-based trade exhibition and conference organiser, and the African office of Clarion Events Ltd, based in the UK.
Last year’s second edition drew more than 11 700 visitors, over 100
exhibitors and 150 members of the press.
– CAJ News
Short URL: http://cajnewsafrica.com/?p=11443