MONICA KAYOMBO, Ndola
GOVERNMENT has acquired a U S $ 5 0 million loan from African Development Bank for implementing an aquaculture development programme aimed at making Zambia a major fish exporter.
Minister of Fisheries and Livestock Michael Katambo says Government is determined to diversify the country’s economy by ensuring that Zambia becomes a major fish exporter within the next two years.
Mr Katambo said Zambia currently has a fish deficit of about 85,000 metric tonnes and that his ministry is equal to the task of meeting the deficit by rolling out various programmes aimed at improving fish farming in the country.
The minister, who is Masaiti member of Parliament, said this in Ndola on Friday during a Patriotic Front interactive forum.
The minister said President Lungu is determined to develop the agriculture sector in Zambia.
“President Lungu wants us to ensure that our country becomes a net exporter of fish within the next two years,” Mr Katambo said.
He said with a US$50 million loan, Government will step up a countrywide fish restocking programme and construction and rehabilitation of dams in all provinces.
Mr Katambo said the focus will be on those provinces with huge natural water bodies, adding that Masaiti district on the Copperbelt will also benefit from the countrywide fish restocking programme.
He said it is President Lungu’s vision to see Zambia start producing enough fish to meet the local demand and export the surplus.
Mr Katambo also said Zambia has signed an agreement with Saudi Arabia to start exporting one million goats every month to the Middle East nation and urged Zambians to seize the opportunity to venture into livestock farming.