Business

State eyes East agro-produce for value addition

NANCY SIAME, Chipata
PRESIDENT Lungu says Government has identified four districts in Eastern Province with agricultural produce which will be used for value addition.
Mr Lungu named the districts as Chadiza, Katete, Lundazi and Sinda which are known for producing soya beans, beef, cotton and groundnuts.
He said value shall be added to the soya beans to make edible oil, production of primary beef products from beef, production of edible oil and animal feed from cotton and production of peanut butter from groundnuts.
“This is an initiative aimed at reducing poverty and it will be done with help from the Citizen Economic Empowerment Commission (CEEC),” Mr Lungu said in Chipata as he addressed the business community during a fundraising dinner.
And as part of job creation and industrialisation strategy, Mr Lungu said CEEC has started receiving applications for business loans in fish hatcheries, block making, innovation information communication technology and energy projects and tourism franchising.
Others are packaging and water bottling
“The Commission is expected to disburse these loans as quickly as possible and everyone is encouraged to participate,” he said.
Mr Lungu said Government is aware that agriculture is of paramount importance in Eastern Province as it provides the foundation for livelihoods of the people.
He said this is why Government delivered inputs to all farmers in time and made payments to all farmers that sold their maize to the Food Reserve Agency (FRA) in good time.
“All the targeted beneficiaries received their packs under the Farmer Input Support Programme and over K140 million was paid to farmers that sold their maize to FRA,” Mr Lungu said.

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