by Joseph Mwenda on 20 Nov 2018by Sipilisiwe Ncube on 20 Nov 2018by Richard Luo on 20 Nov 2018by Mirriam Chabala on 20 Nov 2018
- Goal Diggers
by Alex Chilumbwe on 15 Nov 2018by Alex Chilumbwe on 15 Nov 2018by Musambo Phiri on 11 Nov 2018by Alex Chilumbwe on 8 Nov 2018
by Stuart Lisulo on 19 Nov 2018by Abraham Kalito on 15 Nov 2018by John Chola on 15 Nov 2018by Abraham Kalito on 15 Nov 2018
- Editor's Choice
by Davies Mwila on 20 Nov 2018by Diggers Correspondent on 16 Nov 2018by Professor Geoffrey Lungwangwa on 15 Nov 2018by Davies Mwila on 13 Nov 2018
by Diggers Editor on 16 Nov 2018by Diggers Editor on 15 Nov 2018by Diggers Editor on 14 Nov 2018by Diggers Editor on 13 Nov 2018
by Zondiwe Mbewe on 28 Sep 2018by Tenson Mkhala on 28 Sep 2018by Thomas Mulenga on 24 Sep 2018by Sampa Kabwela on 8 Sep 2018
- Guest Diggers
by CUTS on 16 Nov 2018by CUTS on 16 Nov 2018by Sampa Kabwela on 10 Nov 2018by Diggers Correspondent on 17 Oct 2018
IAPRI urges govt to improve market infrastructure to tackle choleraBy Abraham Kalito on 14 Sep 2018
Cholera cannot be expected to end if Zambia does not develop a clean horticultural value chain where fruits and vegetables can be stored in a conducive environment, says the Indaba Agricultural Policy Research Institute (IAPRI).
And Musika managing director Reuben Banda says the non-existence of a structured horticultural market was clearly evident during the cholera outbreak early this year.
Meanwhile, Works and Supply Minister Felix Mutati says agriculture’s contribution to Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is still uninspiring and a source of concern for government.
Speaking during the Zambian Fresh Produce Wholesale Market Investors’ meeting, jointly-organized by IAPRI and Musika in Lusaka yesterday, IAPRI executive director Chance Kabaghe suggested that cholera outbreaks cannot be expected to end if the country doesn’t develop a clean fruit and vegetable market.
“We have done a lot of work that is not only beneficial to this country, but the whole region. But our real main task is to make sure that, the Zambian agricultural stakeholders have proper data for them to make informed decisions. So, this country, in the last 10 years, has really been moving in the right direction because the policies that will advise the various stakeholders have the empirical evidence behind it. Ourselves, together working with Musika, we thought it was prudent that where agriculture has reached in this country, we needed to have a very modern fruit and vegetable market. Soweto, as we all know, is a disaster! The rains are just around the corner. This, Minister and stakeholders who are here, if it’s actualised quickly, we know it is going to be actualised, will be the beginning of the end of cholera in Lusaka. So, to us, it’s an extremely important meeting for investors. This is really a private sector initiative to move this sector forward. Where is agriculture in Zambia today?” Kabaghe wondered.
“We are self-sufficient as a country in a sustainable manner in maize production; the whole value chain of maize in this country. Maize is no longer an issue for Zambia. Even during the so-called El Niño, we still produce enough maize and export to the neighbouring region, including South Africa. Soya beans, we are now the past three, four years, we produce more than what we need for ourselves. Aquaculture is becoming very strong. We can boast today as a country that we are self-sufficient in the production of wheat. Really, if these three a country has in place, it doesn’t have to worry about staple food. The next part becomes now, the horticultural part. Really, our horticultural sector has been wish washing up and down. As we are talking, farmers who have been involved in the tomato production this period, they are crying! And they are saying that, ‘we will never grow tomatoes again!’ When at the beginning of this season, a box of tomato was hitting K400, right now it is K5. Some are just throwing it; taking it to waste.”
He said the time to invest in the horticulture sector was now.
“Again, I’m trying to say, we have the agro-economic zone in this country that can grow literally, apart from those very extreme fruits, such as apples, we can grow literally most of the vegetables and fruits we are talking about. So, as a country, we are ripe, we are ready to move in the horticultural sector. And you cannot move in the horticultural sector, Minister, without addressing issues of marketing. The value of chain in marketing. We thought that the time was now. Time was now to invest in the value chain, especially the marketing component, because once the marketing component is set right, production becomes much easier, people start investing in those areas. Like I said, today, when you say, ‘I’m growing tomatoes, people start asking, what’s wrong with you?’ Why are you growing tomatoes? So, this meeting is really called upon to address this critical position.”
And Banda said the non-existence of a structured horticultural market was clearly evident during the cholera outbreak early in the year, which had a devastating impact on fresh produce marketing systems causing serious food safety and health concerns, and huge losses in terms of revenue.
He also noted that a good fruit and vegetable market, coupled with a clean value chain, would address the non-transparent and uncompetitive marketing practices that tend to benefit unregulated brokers.
“Musika and IAPRI are committed to this process. That is why we joined hands and commissioned a feasibility study early this year to establish the major challenges hampering the growth of the sector and seek solutions that will help to transform it into one that is commercially viable. The repercussions of the non-existence of a structured horticultural market was clearly evident during the cholera outbreak early in the year, which had a devastating impact on our fragile fresh produce marketing systems causing serious food safety and health concerns and huge losses in terms of revenue. As a non-profit company that works to stimulate and support private sector investment in the smallholder market, Musika’s interest in the development of structured fresh fruit and vegetable markets is to create more opportunities for smallholder producers who are greatly disadvantaged by the non-transparent and uncompetitive marketing practices that tend to benefit unregulated brokers,” Banda said.
Meanwhile, Mutati, who was standing-in for Finance Minister, Margaret Mwanakatwe, said agriculture’s contribution to GDP is still uninspiring and a source of concern for government.
“Government has a passion for agriculture, and that passion, today, is being anchored on the transformation of the agricultural sector. That, the dividends that can be realised from the agricultural sector are huge if we translate the issues of diversification of the economy into a practical output. Hearing from Musika has taught one lesson that, as a nation, we have engaged in production conversations, which have been anchored on ambition, but less so whether those conversations have been anchored on evidence research and data. Today, we are creating order on what must be done in the agriculture space, in particular, the horticultural space. Agriculture contribution to GDP has remained uninspiring and a source of concern. And we say agriculture is the main stay. And from a government perspective, our role still remains that we will not only provide supportive infrastructure, but will also anchored trade facilitation. We believe that GDP and growing the economy,” said Mutati.
About Abraham Kalito
- Lungu, HH met reveal church mother bodies - 20 Nov 2018
- Prisons will be full of politicians after 2021, says Kambwili as he narrates State House money scandal - 19 Nov 2018
- 2020 census will help assess country’s development – Wina - 16 Nov 2018
- Govt constitutes crack squad to end abuse of cyber space - 16 Nov 2018
- Sales Tax will lead to job losses, warns ZACCI - 15 Nov 2018
- Cops arrest ZANIS reporter for filming HH arrival at Ndola Police
- Police warn, caution HH for seditious practices; no arrest
- Prisons will be full of politicians after 2021, says Kambwili as he narrates State House money scandal
- Police perpetrating confusion - Mweemba
- PF, UPND maintain threats on each other as HH goes to Ndola
Subscribe for email alerts
Weekly Most Digged
- November 2018
- October 2018
- September 2018
- August 2018
- July 2018
- June 2018
- May 2018
- April 2018
- March 2018
- February 2018
- January 2018
- December 2017
- November 2017
- October 2017
- September 2017
- August 2017
- July 2017
- June 2017
- May 2017
- April 2017
- March 2017
- February 2017
- January 2017
- December 2016
- November 2016
- October 2016
The News Diggers
Deputy News Editor
Plot No. Lus/9812/649-MC8
off Alex Chola Road
P.O. Box 32147
Telephone or WhatsApp:
+26-097-7708285, 095-3424603, 096-5815078
diggers [at] diggers [dot] news
editor [at] diggers [dot] news
Send this to a friend