Trade and Industry Minister Robert Sichinga has said the current annual investments for the poultry industry, stood at more than US$80 million, contributing 42 per cent to the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
According to Times of Zambia, Mr Sichinga was impressed with the developments in the poultry industry whose contribution makes it the largest in the livestock sector.
He said the increased investment had contributed significantly towards the creation of employment opportunities for many Zambians.
In a speech read for him by his permanent secretary Stephen Mwansa, at the Aviana Expo exhibition in Lusaka, Mr Sichinga observed that the Zambian poultry industry had become vital to the economy contributing to high nutritional value at low cost to the millions of Zambians.
Mr Sichinga said the Government has realised the need to diversify the economy in order to reduce the over dependence on metal exports.
“This has always made our country’s development vulnerable to price fluctuations of metals on the international market.
“In our efforts to diversify the economy, we have made it abundantly clear that prudent macroeconomic management will continue to be pursued in order to create a conducive environment for the private sector to play its critical role towards expanding the national cake,” Mr Sichinga said.
The minister said it was for this reason that Government had identified tourism, agriculture and manufacturing, as priority sectors which would lead the diversification efforts.
“Government will continue to ensure that the general infrastructure spending on roads, border facilities and rail, continue to receive an expanding share of the budget in order to assist in the reduction of the cost of doing business in the country,” he said.
Mr Sichinga said the farming blocs had recently been made available for local and international investors for crop and livestock production as well as agro-businesses.
The Government is also encouraging agro processing joint ventures with Zambians to maximise production.
The Aviana Zambia Expo has attracted 23 international and ten local companies and the exhibition is a trade fair focused on the major challenges faced by the rapidly developing poultry and livestock industry.
A statement from the ministry signed by his Special Assistant on Media, Dr Oyeleye Olukayode notes that the Egbeme Oil Palm plantation would be given the required attention to fully revitalize it.
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