Wednesday August 25, 2021
LUSAKA-Zambia is getting ready and positioning itself to be an agricultural hub and food basket for the southern African region.
The country which has been predominantly a copper mining economy, is now embracing partnerships from agricultural advanced countries such as Russia, Portugal and China in a stride to diversify its productive sectors.
Economic experts have observed that during the first decade of the 21st century Zambia’s economy posted one of the fastest rates of growth in Africa, with its capital Lusaka being among the fastest growing cities on the African continent.
Decrease in copper prices has slowed the economy down in recent years, where factors such as transportation costs and oil prices together with absence of sea access add to complexity of trade with the country.
However, regardless of the economy growth related problems Zambia remains one of the most urbanized countries in sub-Saharan Africa, with high employment levels in agriculture and other traditional industrial areas.
Zambia with its fertile lands, which are currently worked by both small and large scale farmers, mainly produces corn, sorghum, millet, peanuts and cotton, with some parts of the country growing tea and coffee.
Global economic and agro-industrial tendencies push the country to move towards good and competitive economic standards of countries like South Africa, Egypt and evening neighbouring Tanzania.
Zambian government has initiated dialogues on foreign investment attraction, which include areas such as agriculture to drive export of agricultural produce.
Hence, current negotiations held with large foreign investors focus on localization of novel agro-industrial manufacturing units in Zambia.
Such strategy is believed to increase the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and create work places especially for the youth among an array of other social and economic benefits.
Partners from countries such as Portugal, Russia, and China among other with well-established agriculture industries are considered to be capable of localizing manufacturing facilities in Zambia.
Successful implementation of such investment projects will drive local production modernization, implementing novel technologies into the agricultural sector and make Zambia an example to other countries in the regional economic bloc of Southern African Development Community (SADC) and beyond.