A Zambian agriculture expert says there is need for more Chinese investment into Zambia’s agriculture sector in order to help boost the country’s economy and promote agricultural innovation.
Having more Chinese investors investing in Zambia’s agricultural export industry would not only lead to increased production but also help propel small-scale farmers’ growth and increase the country’s foreign earnings, said Christopher Kapembwa, an agronomist from the Zambia Institute of Agriculture.
He said a number of Chinese firms have invested in large-scale crop and livestock production in Zambia and he would like to see more Chinese investments in Zambia’s agriculture export trade.
“Let us take advantage of Chinese investors that have invested in the agriculture sector and encourage them to produce more for export. It would also be good to form partnerships with the Chinese because they are hardworking,” he said.
Kapembwa also emphasized the need for developing countries to venture into agriculture for development, stating that it is one sure way of countering high poverty levels and stressed the need for policies that support export agriculture.
He said much of the agriculture production in Africa and Zambia in particular has for a long time been centred on producing for local markets, a situation that according to him has hindered growth and expansion.
“Agriculture for development entails among other things growing produce that can be easily exported so as to enable the country to earn foreign exchange. But first, we need to improve on the standards in terms of the way the crops are produced, processed and distributed,” Kapembwa said.