Wednesday, April 7, 2010

African Country in Focus - Zambia

Zambia: The Government called for foreign and local investors to participate in cultivating the 155,000-hectre Nansanga farm bloc; a new model farm meant to encourage economic diversification from copper and cobalt mining to agriculture. The government invested more than 100 billion Zambian kwacha (USD 21 million) in building roads and dams for the farm bloc, supplying electricity to attract investors to grow export crops. It reported that the country had faced increasing maize import requirements from its neighbours, particularly Angola and the DRC. The Government also reported that it would encourage farmers to sell their crops to local canning factories instead of exporting it in raw form for value added purposes. In this light, a canning factory, operated by food processing and canning firm, Freshpikt, was commissioned, during the week, to process baked beans, peanut butter, pineapple chunks and fresh fish mainly for export to South Africa, Zimbabwe and the DRC.