Business

50 timber projects in K2m boost

KALONDE NYATI, Lusaka
GOVERNMENT is expected to disburse almost K2 million under the Citizens Economic Empowerment Commission (CEEC) to 50 timber projects in Sesheke, Ministry of Commerce, Trade and Industry permanent secretary Siazongo Siakalenge has disclosed.
Mr Siakalenge said Government has since disbursed over K470, 000 to 28 projects out of the total K1.9 million approved for the district. The other projects expected to receive funding once collateral related issues are finalised.
He told the Parliamentary Committee on Government assurances last week that about 56 jobs have been created following the disbursement of funds to the 28 projects.
“The recipients of the loans have mostly used the funds as working capital to boost carpentry business in Nalikwanda and Katima areas of Sesheke as well as Sesheke market,” he said.
Sesheke has a potentially vibrant timber sub-sector with annual primary timber production of about 4,450 cubic meters, however, lack of processing technology and equipment, poor road network to production areas, and high cost of finance undermines the development of the sub-sector.
Mr Siakalenge said Government’s commitment to support the timber sub-sector will go a long way in stimulating the sector in the district.
“In response to the challenges of the sub-sector in Sesheke district, the Ministry of Commerce, Trade and Industry plays an important role by facilitating access to appropriate business finance, access to marketing opportunities, and provision of other business development support services to small-scale timber-based entrepreneurs,” he said.

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