Vice-President Inonge has directed line ministries to work closely with the Zambia National Farmers’ Union (ZNFU), supermarket chain stores and other importers to develop a phased import substitution programme by the end of January, 2020.
And the Vice-President says government will take all necessary measures to ensure price stability of wheat and wheat products in the short, medium and long-term to cushion the possible price increase following reports of impending exports.
On Sunday, ZNFU president Jervis Zimba lamented that the continued issuance of import permits for processed meats and meat products was killing the local livestock and agricultural sectors due to the cheap price at which the imported products were being sold.
And in a statement, Tuesday, Permanent Secretary in Office of the Vice-President Stephen Mwansa noted that the joint-plan would be urgently tabled before Cabinet for consideration.
“Her Honor, the Vice-President, has directed the Ministry of Fisheries and Livestock; the Ministry of Agriculture and the Ministry of Commerce, Trade and Industry as well as the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to work closely with the Zambia National Farmers Union, supermarket chain stores and other importers to develop a phased import substitution programme by the end of January, 2020, in order to promote and grow, not just the local meat industry, but the whole economy. Her honour, the Vice-President, stated that the joint-plan of action will be tabled in Cabinet for consideration as a matter of urgency. She further stated that the plan should work for the Zambian people without losing the global and regional tenets of fair trade,” the statement read.
And Vice-President Wina called for increased capacity-building among local farmers and processors to meet the quality and volumes demanded by chain stores.
“The Republican Vice-President stated that embarking on such a programme will result in less demand for the dollar, which in-turn, will strengthen the kwacha, taking other things into consideration. On the local front, concerted efforts must be made to continue building capacity among local farmers and processors to meet the quality and volumes demanded by chain stores. On the other hand, chain stores must adhere to their commitments to support and grow the local economy as part of their investment pledges,” the statement read.
Meanwhile, she expressed concern at the reports of impending exports of wheat and wheat products, which had potential to increase prices of bakery products as well as affect the livestock industry.
“The Republican Vice-President has expressed concern at the reports of impending exports of wheat and wheat products, which has potential to increase prices of products, such as wheat flour, bread and other bakery products as well as wheat bran, which the feedstock sub-sector depends on to support growth of the livestock industry. Her Honour, the Vice-President, stated that government will take all necessary measures to ensure price stability and access to affordable products in the short, medium and long-term. The measures will remain in force until such time when conditions are favourable for exports to take place. The Republican Vice-President called for cooperation among all stakeholders so that interest groups, including consumers, benefit for the good of the country,” read the statement.