Zambeef has expressed confidence that government’s pronouncements to improve the agriculture sector in the country will attract more investors and boost the economy.
Speaking during a board tour of the company’s operations in Chisamba, Lusaka and Mpongwe, Zambeef Board Chairperson Michael Mundashi said the agriculture sector was a major driver of economic growth in Zambia and lauded the importance government had placed on improving it.
“Agriculture in Zambia has suitable conditions to attract investors and we as Zambeef are optimistic that with the new policies put in place, we will witness a turnaround for the better in the sector,” said Mr Mundashi.
The Board Chairperson went on to say Zambeef was testament to how encouraging the private sector to take advantage of the country’s investment opportunities could spur economic development and create employment opportunities for citizens.
“After the government, Zambeef is one of the largest employers in Zambia, with no less than 7,000 employees. Now if we invest in more capacity in areas around the country, we will contribute more to employment,” he explained.
Mr Mundashi further said that after touring Zambeef, he was optimistic for the company’s future as not only an agribusiness, but also as the largest vertically integrated food chain in the country.
“Other than creating employment, feeding the nation is our motto and there is a lot that Zambeef is doing to contribute to food security in Zambia. Looking at the existing capacity in terms of cultivation especially at our farm in Mpongwe, which we plan to expand to increase the yield, I am pleased to say we are moving towards our goal,” he added.
During last year’s budget presentations, Finance Minister Dr Situmbeko Musokotwane unveiled agriculture as a chief pilot of its agenda in its quest towards growth and poverty reduction in Zambia.
Some of the pronouncements the minister made included ensuring affordable fertilizer and pesticides, establishing agro-manufacturing, improving productivity by ensuring the agriculture sector was highly mechanised, removing the 10% export duty on maize and the 5% customs duty on importation of cattle breeding stock, and partnering with the private sector.