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The recent AgriBusiness Congress in Zambia gathered the country’s top business and political leaders, including the Zambian Vice-President, Dr Guy Scott, the Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Livestock, Mr Luxon Kazabu, as well as representatives of leading agri stakeholders Standard Bank, Shoprite, John Deere, Cargill and CHC Commodities.
Some 200 delegates from 11 countries attended the inaugural event in Lusaka from 5-6 September, which also enjoyed wide support from the industry including the Zambian National Farmers Union (ZNFU), AgriBusiness Forum, Agricultural Consultative Forum (ACF) and ACTESA (Alliance for Commodity Trade in Eastern and Southern Africa).
Immense potential in Zambian agriculture
“Zambia’s agricultural sector has the potential to feed over 200 million people in the region through its abundant land and water resources” says AgriBusiness Congress director Claire O’Connell. She continues: “it is the only country land-linked to eight southern African countries, which provides immense potential for accessing regional markets for agricultural commodities. The Zambian economy has also shown remarkable resilience to the global economic downturn, and the policies being put in place by the recently elected new government promise to add value to the agricultural industry and increase investment.”
Government’s longterm support
During the opening address, Zambia’s Vice President Dr Guy Scott confirmed that his government’s policy was focusing on encouraging long term investment. He said: “the government realises the potential of the sector and hence we are going to do everything possible to ensure that the policy framework guiding the development of the agriculture sector is properly implemented.”
Other leading agricultural businesses attending the AgriBusiness Congress included Action Auto, AFGRI, Air Tractor Africa, ASNAPP, Bessemer, Emman Farming, ESAANet, Irrigation Zambia, IrriTech, Newquip, & OPPAZ, Pannar, Renke, Ronin GMS, Seedco, Senter 360, Simply Red and Zambeef.
Feedback from some of the attendees:
-- “A great gathering of the African growing agribiz community ”
Johan van Rooyen, Stellenbosch University
-- “This has been a great event the first of its kind to take place in Zambia, I am positive that this will bring a lot of change to our business & agriculture in Zambia”.
Samantha Houghston, Simply Red
-- “Excellent initiative. It was useful to have all the major stakeholders in one place. I learnt a lot from the experience sharing”.
Brenda Nang’amba, AGRI Business Forum (ABF)
-- “Very informative and effective networking between role players in African Agriculture”.
Danie duPlessie, Zambian Fertilizers
The AgriBusiness Congress is envisaged to become an annual showpiece and is expected to double in size by next year, including an exhibition.
Event dates for AgriBusiness Congress 2013: 18 - 20 September 2013
by S. C.
14 september 2012, World News > Africa