By Inutu Mwanza in Ethiopia
President Edgar Lungu will officially flag off the export of goats to Saudi Arabia next month, Livestock Minister Kampamba Mulenga has revealed.
This follows the completion of an import needs assessment that was carried out by the Saudi Arabian Government.
The assessment also indicates that the Saudi Government is not only interested in goats and sheep but beef too.
Government has so far opened bulking centres in all the ten provincial centres.
“I am happy to say that although it has taken too long, the benefits will be immense especially for the small scale farmers. This is an opportunity for farmers to get money for their hard earned labour,” the Minister said.
She said the bulking centres have been opened to help with mobility of the goats that will be delivered.
The Minister said so far Zambia has a population of about 9 million goats, making it easy to go into the export business with Saudi Arabia.
She said government will ensure that small scale farmers are protected from exploitation as they enter into this business.
The Minister was speaking in Addis Ababa yesterday when she transited to Brussels to attend a Conference on a goat plague called Peste des Petits Ruminants(PPR).
PPR is a viral disease of goats and sheep characterized by fever, sores in the mouth, diarrheal, pneumonia and sometimes death.
She said although Zambia does it not this disease, it is putting mechanisms to quarantine the borders to prevent the disease from spreading to Zambia.
The Minister said government would lobby for funds from the EU to strengthen border surveillance and prevent the disease that is in the neighboring countries from spreading to Zambia.
She was received at bole International Airport by Zambia Ambassador to Ethiopia, Susan Sikaneta.
The writer is the First Secretary for Press and Tourism at the Zambian Embassy in Ethiopia.