Southern Province Minister Cornelius Mweetwa has expressed optimism that Zambeef’s heightened involvement in the livestock sector, will help boost the vital industry and raise it to a level of prosperity.
Mr Mweetwa lauded the agribusiness company’s efforts to enhance the productive capacity of local farmers through its livestock procurement programme.
Speaking during a courtesy call from Zambeef CEO Faith Mukutu, the minister noted that the sector needs extensive support due to its lack of recognition as a separate industry and significant economic player.
He stated that with the collaboration of major stakeholders, the government’s proposed Comprehensive Agricultural Support programme would address the sector’s challenges, and promote its growth and development.
Mr Mweetwa said: “If properly managed, the livestock sector could turn around the economy. Zambia enjoys a comparative advantage in terms of water endowment and grazing land. This places us at the front seat to become the number one beef exporter in the region and beyond.”
Mr Mweetwa further said that President Hakainde Hichilema has been unlocking agricultural markets in other countries to accommodate the export of beef and other products.
He urged Zambeef and other stakeholders to take advantage of the opportunity and emphasised the importance of actively controlling animal diseases in the country, in order to create a successful export market.
Meanwhile, Ms Mukutu reiterated Zambeef’s commitment to realising the Southern Province’s potential as the country’s livestock production hub, by supporting projects such as cattle ranching and feedlot operations.
“Zambeef procures most of its cattle from the Southern Province, with operations in Namwala and Sinazongwe. The opportunity that lies in the province is immense and we could double the livestock that we have here and also be an example of how to promote animal husbandry,” she said.
Zambeef employs a local procurement approach designed to promote sustainable livestock farming and support small-scale farmers in the country by providing them with access to markets.