The recent AgriBusiness Congress in Zambia gathered the country's business and political leaders, including the Zambian vice president, Dr Guy Scott, the deputy minister of Agriculture and Livestock, Luxon Kazabu, as well as representatives of agri stakeholders Standard Bank, Shoprite, John Deer, Cargill and CHC Commodities.
Zambian vice president, Dr Guy Scott, addresses the AgriBusiness Congress.
Some 200 delegates from 11 countries attended the inaugural event in Lusaka from 5-6 September 2012, which also enjoyed wide support from the industry including the Zambian National Farmers Union (ZNFU), AgriBusiness Forum, Agricultural Consultative Forum (ACF) and ACTESA (Alliance for Commodity Trade in Eastern and Southern Africa).Immense potential in Zambian agriculture
"Zambia's agricultural sector has the potential to feed over 200 million people in the region through its abundant land and water resources" says AgriBusiness Congress director Claire O'Connell.
She continues, "it is the only country land-linked to eight southern African countries, which provides immense potential for accessing regional markets for agricultural commodities. The Zambian economy has also shown remarkable resilience to the global economic downturn, and the policies being put in place by the recently elected new government promise to add value to the agricultural industry and increase investment."Government's longterm support
During the opening address, Scott confirmed that the government's policy was focusing on encouraging long term investment.
He said, "the government realises the potential of the sector and hence we are going to do everything possible to ensure that the policy framework guiding the development of the agriculture sector is properly implemented."