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Govt wants poultry, tobacco sectors to thrive – Mutati

STEVEN MVULA, Lusaka
MINISTER of Finance Felix Mutati says Government wants business entities to thrive so that it can collect revenue from them for national development and service delivery.
Mr Mutati said this is why Government is engaging the Poultry Association of Zambia and Tobacco Association of Zambia to find best ways to grow the industries.
The minister said this in Lusaka yesterday when he met the two associations together with the ministers of Agriculture Dora Siliya, and Commerce, Trade and Industry Margaret Mwanakatwe.
“We want all the various sectors in the agriculture sector to co-ordinate and deal with the problems the sectors face and find the solutions,” Mr Mutati said.
Mrs Mwanakatwe said the growth of industries is vital for job creation.
“You need to compete favourably in the region where we belong as a country. And only then can you make money,” she said.
Ms Siliya said it is important that those in the poultry and tobacco industries have markets beyond the borders.
“The Ministry of Agriculture is your friend. We want to hold your hand so that you make money and in turn grow our economy,” Ms Siliya said.
Poultry Association of Zambia vice-chairperson Veronica Machungwa told the ministers that the importation of chickens would “kill” the local industry.
Ms Machungwa said there are a lot of backdoor imports of chicken and this is posing a threat to the success of the local industry.
She said bran stock feed must not be exported.
Tobacco Association of Zambia chairman Phonto Mumbi said value added tax on green tobacco is disadvantaging the Zambian tobacco.
Mr Mumbi said Zambia consumes very little tobacco as much of it is exported.
“Give us the tax status like that of Malawi, Zimbabwe and Tanzania. That way, we will be more competitive,” Mr Mumbi said.

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