Op-Ed: Zambeef is largest employer not mining

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Mining is no longer the biggest employer, right now Zambeef employees over 6, 000 people has a total over 195 retail outlets supplying the southern and central Africa.

It buys various produce from Zambian farmers around Zambia. In 2016 Zambeef alone paid $13.3 million in taxes to the Gross Domestic Products and it also earned a clear hard earned $8.6million in the same year.

Zambia has capacity to produce fish to feed itself and export to the region, right now we are importing about 40, 000tones of fish worth $100million annually losing an opportunity to employ over 8, 000 people in formal jobs.

We are not making the right policies to encourage fish farming or supporting existing firms.

We allow such huge import of mostly compromised fish destroying local production and taking away jobs for the youths.

Let’s change the policy to favour local growth government is there to do for the people what they can’t do best for themselves.

Don’t just blame Zambians on quality it is time we supported Zambian to learn, to grow and to specialize in food industry because without opportunity there can be no one can good at anything.

Let’s also start creating farming cluster than business cluster, declare areas like Lumfwanyama tax heaven for all farming activities, find one area in each province that can zoned as a free tax zone with farming incentive that are attractive and favouring Zambian.

And we can also create policies that tax from food or farming products and zero on local produce, this will mean a lot of Zambian products on local malls shelves, we must start somewhere.

We have a very big market for Maize in the Congo and the region and yet we have policies and prices that kills massive production of maize, this is an opportunity, the Congolese are exporting rhumba why can’t we export Maize to them and make money on each 50 or 25 kg bag that can effectively reduce the price of mealie meal locally why?

We have trade kings the company that’s is showing that with right support and policies we can make everything here and create jobs and opportunity for local farmers local entrepreneurs.

We keep crying on trade imbalance in the region and yet we don’t do what it take to support local industries.

We have created enough market it’s time to create products to feed each mall each pick n pay, Shoprite, jets, Edgar’s Wimpy, KFC, game store and hungry lion.

Let government be government for the local people not foreign firms and foreigner.

We can survive when 90% of all local malls are foreign shops selling 90% foreign items and yet you expect jobs creation, selling at a toll must not be a job to aspire for when you have an elected government.

It should not even be in the vocabulary of any minister worse President.

We are losing money about $2billion annually through this careless trade imbalance created by our leaders.



The Independent Observer

John Sakala is a Journalist yearning for independent journalism

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