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By JOHN SAKALA
The Zambia Bureau of Standards (ZABS) is urging Small and Medium Sized Enterprises (SMEs) to take advantage of opportunities availed to them during this period of the COVID-19.
ZABS Executive Director Manuel Mutale says the pronouncement by President Edgar Lungu during his third COVID-19 address to the nation where he directed chain stores around the country to prioritize local produce in their various localities, offers a window of opportunity for SMEs to scale up the production of essential commodities that can be supplied to various high value markets in the country.
“While as a country we are trying to stave off the effects of the pandemic, there are some opportunities that our local manufacturers can leverage on and we are here to support these efforts so that they can gain access into the high value markets around the country. As a response to the directive given by the President, ZABS has over this period been promoting the Certified Local Supplier Scheme for SMEs so that through this scheme, SMEs are able to supply products that are safe and of good quality.”
“The competitiveness of the SME sector remains one of our priorities that is why the certified local supplier scheme was designed to specifically assist SME’s meet the requirements of their customers through the application of standards and quality systems. We believe there is no better time for our SMEs to take advantage of this scheme than now, when there is demand and interest in locally produced products,” he said.
The Certified Local Supplier Scheme was launched in October 2019 to assist small businesses implement and comply with good manufacturing practices to guarantee quality and safety of products.
The scheme provides an opportunity for small businesses to have their products tested and certified at an affordable cost in order for them to remain competitive.
This is according to a media statement made available to The Independent Observer by ZABS Senior Marketing and Communications Officer Nzali Chella.