NOMSA NKANA, Lusaka
MINISTER of Agriculture Dora Siliya has called for formalisation of trade protocols and procedures with the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) to harness Zambia’s comparative advantage in trade over that country.
Ms Siliya said Zambia must begin to look beyond its borders for markets for its locally-produced commodities to earn the much-needed foreign exchange to spur the country’s economic development.
She said this yesterday at a multi-stakeholder consultative forum on developing a more competitive and inclusive agricultural commodity trading platform in Zambia at Mulungushi International Conference Centre in Lusaka.
“Zambia has a comparative advantage of trade with the DRC. I would like proposals on how we can harness this comparative advantage to our benefit by creating formal trade protocols and procedures with that country,” she said.
Meanwhile, Ms Siliya said the country has recorded a significant increase in production of key commodities such as maize and soya beans which has resulted in Government lifting export restrictions on such products.
She said that there is, therefore, need to discuss proposals on how the marketing of commodities will be handled this season.
Ms Siliya also said beyond the current season, there is need to begin to identify the foundation that will lead to the establishment of a marketing system that will meet the needs of the industry.
Speaking at the same occasion, Minister of Finance Felix Mutati said the implementation of the e-voucher is meant to eliminate inefficiencies and wastage associated with the Farmer Input Support Programme (FISP).