In a statement issued by Clayson Hamasaka, Chief Communications Specialist, President Hakainde Hichilema expressed his profound delight in the overwhelmingly positive response from ZAMBEEF and other agricultural producers to the call for increased agricultural production by the UPND New Dawn Government. This collective effort has culminated in a remarkable and record-breaking wheat harvest this year.
The President emphasized the significance of this achievement, particularly in light of the challenging circumstances faced by the nation, including global security instability and adverse climatic conditions. These challenges have led to fluctuations in commodity prices, particularly in essentials like fuel and food.
President Hichilema’s administration responded swiftly to these challenges by offering incentives to Zambian farmers and rallying them to ramp up food production within the country. The President underlined the importance of self-reliance and the proactive role of citizens in addressing domestic issues rather than relying solely on external assistance.
“With this remarkable response from Zambian private sector entities like ZAMBEEF,” President Hichilema declared, “I am confident that we can achieve our national production target of one million metric tonnes of wheat by the year 2028.”
The Head of State firmly believes that Zambia can transform the global food crisis into an opportunity for increased production of winter crops, including wheat and maize, both for domestic consumption and international markets. This approach is expected to bolster food security and create vital employment opportunities.
President Hichilema commended ZAMBEEF for their outstanding partnership with the government, which has not only generated thousands of direct jobs but also integrated more than 100,000 small-scale farmers into its diversified supply chain. He further encouraged ZAMBEEF to consider implementing incentives for local communities, such as outgrower schemes and extension services, to further boost output per hectare.
The President expressed his satisfaction with ZAMBEEF’s ambitious plans to develop an additional five thousand hectares of land at their Mpongwe farm, effectively doubling their current winter wheat production capacity to over forty thousand metric tonnes. Additionally, he acknowledged the construction of a state-of-the-art flour mill at the farm, a milestone that promises to enhance the company’s value and significantly reduce processing costs.
President Hichilema extended his heartfelt gratitude to ZAMBEEF for their dedication in fulfilling their investment commitments made last year. He also used the occasion to encourage other private sector players to take full advantage of the government’s business-friendly policies, emphasizing their potential role in driving the country’s economic transformation.
Mr. Hichilema reaffirmed the government’s commitment to providing the necessary infrastructure and fostering a conducive business environment that supports production and value addition. He concluded by calling upon the people of Mpongwe to cherish and safeguard the ZAMBEEF project, recognizing its profound significance as a major boon to the district and the nation as a whole.